Samsung manages the Galaxy app store in India in partnership with Indus OS, which has undertaken the mission of localizing apps for the Indian market through the Indus App Bazaar. The process of localization goes far beyond just translating the app store interface with Indic languages. And, to elaborate on how the Indus App Bazaar offers a customized user experience, we are taking a look at the experience offered by the Galaxy Store on a flagship Samsung smartphone in India.
Samsung reigns as one of the leading smartphone brands in the world. Catering to its large audience of users, the company also endeavors to provide its consumers a custom app store experience with its Galaxy Store, which quite expectedly, comes pre-loaded on every Samsung smartphone launched in over 125 countries. In India, this app store comes with the unique advantage of catering to a diverse demographic here.
The Samsung Galaxy Store is not just one of the many Android app stores available in India. As mentioned above, the app store relies on the localization of content to appease crores of Indian smartphone users. The monumental number of users and the diversity of languages written as well as spoken in India as primary create a huge rift between the users’ expectations and the Google Play Store, which is primarily designed while keeping English-speaking users in consideration. The gap remains even as Android allows users to switch the language on their phones to one of the many Indic languages because doing so merely translates the content literally. This is where the Indus App Bazaar steps in to offer contextual modifications to the content in Samsung’s Galaxy Store and make it more relevant to Indian consumers.
The Galaxy Store, in conjunction with Indus App Bazaar, offers more than 4,00,000 apps for Indian users. Indus App Bazaar relies heavily on contextual translations of apps listed in the store, as well as their descriptions so that users — especially those using a smartphone first time or with limited technical know-how — can discover the best apps for themselves and identify their purpose. Additionally, the Galaxy Store in India caters personalised suggestions to the users by identifying their geographical location.
But before we discuss how that works, here is how the Galaxy Store in India is visually distinct from — and in some cases better than — the Google Play Store.
The primary objective of an app store is to facilitate the discovery of apps. To ensure users feel comfortable spending their time and efforts trying to find new apps, the app store must display information about the apps in a way that is both friendly and easy to consume for the users. In this section, we will discuss the factors that make app discovery more convenient for the users and how does the Galaxy Store performs in this respect. We will take a look at the different sections that visually assist the users in their journey from casual browsing to finding an app useful and downloading it.
The homepage is what a user is greeted when they first open the Galaxy Store on an Android-powered Samsung device. On the homepage, we see a broad spectrum of apps suggested for the users to download. These apps are segmented into broad categories — represented by tabs just under the search bar — such as “Featured,” “Free Popular Apps,” “Action Games,” “Fast & Furious,” and many more. Each of these tabs gets a dedicated page where apps are listed as per the name and the purpose of the tab.
Users can scroll across the pages to switch from one tab to another. These tabs are manually controlled by Indus App Bazaar and appear the same for all the users. However, the apps listed on each tab’s page differ based on several factors including the user’s app download patterns — including other similar apps already installed on the devices and their geographical location, among other personalization options.
“Featured” is the first tab in this list of tabs. Being the default view that a user sees when they open the Galaxy Store, the Featured tab features not just one list of apps but instead, a myriad of app collections like “Top Free Apps,” “Recommended For You,” Top Racing Games,” and several more. Under the title of each individual app collection, there is a concise description that defines the intent of every particular collection in case the title isn’t sufficient enough. Each collection appears in the form of a horizontally scrolling list and this allows for multiple collections to appear simultaneously on the same page.
Unlike other major app stores, the Galaxy Store allows you to download apps directly from the main screen, i.e. without having to open the dedicated page for each app. However, if users want to browse through the apps in a single collection, they can open it on a separate page without, just like the different tabs on the homepage.
A peculiarity to note on the Featured tab is the set of apps highlighted by using cards, videos, and Instagram-style (or for purists, Snapchat-style) stories. These elements, curated by Indus OS, underscore some of the most popular or relevant apps in the Galaxy App store. Not just that, the videos help break out of the tedium and prevent users from experiencing any choice fatigue while browsing through an endless list of apps. Meanwhile, the stories — being an element from social media apps — add a sense of entertainment for the users.
While the first two elements, i.e. the highlight cards and videos, are meant to showcase a particular app, app stories show users the content from within the apps, thereby, serving as mini experience zones for these apps. For instance, if there’s an OTT content app like Hotstar, the stories can highlight the different movies or shows in the app — to increase their chances of acquiring both free and paid users, whereas a shopping app like Flipkart can highlight top discounts or offers on products with the objective to invite more users.
Coming back to the other elements on the Featured page, users can scroll down infinitely on it and view countless app collections to download as many apps they would like in one go without leaving the page. This feature not only makes it easier for the users to experiment with different apps without being overloaded with the descriptions and screenshots of an app — unless they don’t want the information themselves. Some of the other app collections that could be worthy of your attention include Best Multiplayer Games, Best Shopping apps, Top Lifestyle apps, Premium apps, etc.
In addition to the infinite scrolling on the Featured page, users can also pull down on the screen to refresh the app store feed. Every time they do this, the app collections refresh to something relevant to users but offer them a fresh set of apps to explore from. This is one of the industry-first features implemented by Indus App Bazaar for the Galaxy Store. Furthermore, if you are too deep on the page, the “go back to top” button at the bottom — of not just the Featured section but each page — takes you right back to the top of the Homepage where you can switch to another tap in the top bar or search for more apps.
While the Homepage has more than enough options for apps that the users can navigate through, the Explore feed is highly personalized for the users. Like the Homepage, the Explore page is segmented into sub-sections but here, the options are limited to just three. This is because in contrast to the Homepage, which has a wide gamut of apps that inspires users to explore, the Explore section is designed for the users to narrow down on their choices.
The first sub-section under Explore is called “For You.” While typically you would expect this section offers users apps best suited for their utility — or based on the user personas based on the demographic, the feed is actually dedicated to video content that can be found on various apps. You will mostly find teasers and trailers of TV shows and movies from different apps to reinforce why a user must install any particular app, or what they will miss if they don’t. This is why the section often has multiple listings from the same app but for different shows or movies.
The next sub-section in Explore is called “Featured,” and while that may seem redundant to the Featured section on the Homepage, the list of apps on this page is curated by Samsung itself. This list is highly customized based on identifiers including the type of device — regular touch slab phone, a foldable phone, or a tablet. This moderation directly from Samsung prevents any compatibility issues and ensures users get the most custom experience with each of these apps.
For users who also fancy custom modifications to their devices, the section offers Samsung’s Good Lock modules and other enhancements such as Game Launcher Plus. These apps allow the users to utilize the full potential of their devices’ hardware. Alongside custom mods, the Featured apps include some customization features including custom fonts.
The third and the last sub-section on the Explore tab is called Top Apps and features a list of the most-downloaded apps. Unlike other apps stores that list the top apps based on a certain long duration like a few weeks or months, the Top Apps in the Galaxy Store are refreshed daily and are not based on a cumulative number of installs but only on the preceding day. This helps small and mid-scale developers compete for the top spot relatively easily than on other app stores where legacy apps dominate because of their monopoly in any particular niche.
The third section on the bottom bar is dedicated to games and is also further split into three sub-parts such as Features, Pre-register, and Top Charts. Again, the Featured games are curated by Samsung and include the most widely popular games on Android, including PUBG: New State, Gardenscapes, Pokémon Go, the Epic Games store, among the numerous options. Just like the homepage, the Featured section also features cars to highlight offers and discounts — including discounted prices for paid games or in-app discounts for add-ons in free-to-play games — and app videos for app previews. These discounts are often exclusive to the Galaxy Store and that is all the more reason to choose Samsung’s app store over the other app stores for Android.
Next up, the Pre-register section allows users to register their interest in upcoming games. When the game is actually released, gets downloaded automatically once the user connects to Wi-Fi. The next section includes Top Charts featuring individual lists for the Most Popular (based on lifelong interest), Top Grossing, and Hot (based on recent activity) games. While sorting these games in Top Charts, you can also choose to hide games that are already installed on the device.
The last section of the app offer content that is exclusive to the Galaxy Store. In this section, you can find customization elements such as themes, wallpapers, icon packs, and custom fonts suited for your Samsung Galaxy device. The section also lets users download always-on display (AOD) alternatives and a wide range of paid themes, wallpapers, and icon packs uploaded by independent developers.
Not just that, the section has an area, titled “Styling” dedicated to customization options where users can find sticker packs for messaging apps, keyboard extensions, and even outfits for the Samsung AR emoji.
Lastly, users can also reap special benefits in the form of in-app perks and bonus rewards that are only available when the app is downloaded using the Galaxy Store. Based on the device you have, you can also download Camera filters, and even custom Edge Panels for your Samsung phone or tablet to harness your creativity in a highly productive fashion.
As mentioned in the beginning, Samsung has partnered with Indus OS to offer a localized experience to users in India, which is home to numerous different languages and scripts. Since English makes up a very small percentage of the languages spoken and understood by the citizen in India, it is essential to prioritize vernacular languages to promote the uptake of apps by Indian users, especially in the Tier-2 and Tier-3 regions.
Extensive app usage is also vital to improve smartphone penetration in rural parts of India. Therefore, Indus OS is contributing to this phenomenon by hyper-localizing apps in the Indus App Bazaar. This is done by translating app store listings, including the app titles, screenshots and other media, and app description in the language chosen by the user. Besides English, the Galaxy Store can be used in India in one of the 12 Indic languages that are supported by Indus App Bazaar. This gives non-English-speaking users the option to check out different alternatives before zeroing on a single app for a particular use case.
Indus OS makes due efforts in contextualizing these translations by using human moderators instead of simply using a tool like Google Translate to translate the app description. The addition of human authority ensures the descriptions are accurate and useful for the end-user.
Alongside the user’s preferred language, Indus OS relies heavily on data about their location. This data is then utilised to suggest apps to other users in the same region using the same language and having similar preferences for apps.
These efforts towards the localization of content on the Indus App Bazaar allow IndusOS to provide a platform for developers to convey their apps’ utility to the desired target audience but without inhibiting them from targeting users in other regions. By bridging the language gap between the developers and the users, localization allows Indus App Bazaar to engage users to spend more time on the Galaxy Store while exploring apps for all their needs and that, in turn, leads to higher user retention and greater satisfaction for all stakeholders.