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Why get an app?

The FirstVoices team has the ability to set up an app version of your language site, which pulls content directly from your entries and functions as a dictionary app with offline capabilities. The apps are updated throughout the year in order to ensure that the latest content you have added to your language site also appears on your app.

Existing apps can be found here:

How to set-up an app

The FirstVoices team needs the following in order to setup a FirstVoices Android / iPhone app:

A title for the app

This should be the name of your language or dialect as it will appear in the Google/Apple app stores. In most cases, it can match your FirstVoices language site name. Unfortunately, special characters like letters with diacritics (i.e. š or ḥ) as well as other characters outside of the standard English alphabet (i.e. C̕ or ʔ) aren’t accepted by the app stores. Please provide a title for your app that meets these requirements. If you have any further questions about what is/isn’t accepted on the app store, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

Contact information

The process for uploading an app store can sometimes involve feedback from Google/Apple that needs to be acted on. It is import to supply relevant, up to date contact information for a person that is able to act on this feedback.

Approved artwork for the app store

This will represent the icon people view on the app store and in their phones. It is important that it is relevant and a high-quality, and that you have permission/authority to use it. The acceptable formats are:

  • A high-quality original SVG file for vector art (Preferable)

  • A high-quality transparent PNG file at least 1024 x 1024 pixels (Minimal)

  • For your artwork, DO NOT add any shadowing, rounded corners, square button background. This will be done by the app store or by the FirstVoices team. To view some examples of how your app artwork and name will be used, check out some of our published Apps on Google Play.


The following data will need to be available for the app:

  • Words: While there is no minimal amount of words needed for an app to go live, we recommend having at least 1,000 words on your FirstVoices site. It is highly recommended that your words have audio and images for a better user experience.

  • A completed alphabet template: You will need to download and fill out the alphabet submission template. Click here for the template. Please provide as many alternate spellings as you can imagine for each character in the LATIN column, as this will help us provide the best searching conditions possible for users. If you need any support with this, please let us know. More details and instructions can be found here under "Submitting your alphabet": Set up, manage and change your alphabet

  • Approximate search: In order for search to return results that are “close” to what a user is looking for, you will need to map certain characters in your alphabet to other characters that sound similar, or are commonly spelled similarly. The FirstVoices team can help develop this mapping, for example1:

After this information is provided, the FirstVoices team will perform an export of your data from your FirstVoices language site and proceed to uploading the app to the app store. This process is currently somewhat manual, and so can take 2-3 weeks to complete.

Additional resources

  File Modified
File splash.psd Splash PSD template (for dimensions) Feb 11, 2020 by Daniel Yona
File icon.psd Icon PSD template (for dimensions) Feb 11, 2020 by Daniel Yona


1 Littell, P., Pine, A., & Davis, H. 2017. Waldayu and Waldayu Mobile: Modern digital dictionary interfaces for endangered languages. In Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on the Use of Computational Methods in the Study of Endangered Languages (pp. 141-150).