Arabic language support coming to App Store

Apple will be launching official support for the Arabic language on the App Store. This is coinciding with the release of iOS 13 and iPadOS in Fall 2019. As iOS 13 was recently released into the public beta stage, many testers have noticed this new addition.

Apple unveiled the App Store with iOS 2 (formerly known as iPhone OS) in 2008. Nobody predicted that it would became the most popular gateway to finding and using native mobile apps. Language support was relegated to the most popular ones, but so many more were added with subsequent iOS updates. Expect to see the complete App Store UI in Arabic, in addition to users typing from right-to-left in Arabic to search for apps.

The biggest hint came with the Developer update in June 2019 announcing support for Arabic metadata for app listings. This would permit developers to fill out for their app all the details including name: description, categories, and more. This change will greatly cast a bigger net to localize content, helping Arab developers create work for the people of the Middle East region.

The number of Arabic-specific apps remains small on the App Store. Apple is hoping to tap a growing technology market in the region. This will greatly support business growth across the Middle East region, and further expand the Apple ecosystem. You’re talking about a region where the average person likely has 2 smartphones.

The Arabic language support will be released to the following countries once iOS 13 is released to the public:

  • Bahrain
  • Kuwait
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • the United Arab Emirates, and
  • Yemen.

Apple celebrated the 10th anniversary of the App Store with much fan fare in 2018; this is the perfect start to help chart the next 10 years. If Apple is adding Arabic support to the mobile App Store, expect to see it on the Mac App Store with an update to macOS Catalina.

Photo credit: Apple Newsroom

Author: Yasser Masood

Think of me as a grassroots community evangelist. Juggling social media while covering technology/digital trends across the Middle East and crossroads of society and culture, while unearthing other perspectives that pique my interests.

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