Monday, April 5, 2010

iPad Fail? Say It Ain't So!

Yes, you heard right... Something's missing on Apple's iPad. Amy Cohen Efron put out a vlog, iPad #fail!, demoing this problem.

What's the problem?

It doesn't show YouTube/Google captions/subtitles.

Is it a software glitch or an incompatibility?

Update: As it turns out, the iPad uses HTML 5 and not Flash, which is why closed captions don't show up. Previously, Caption Action 2 blogged about the lack of captioning support in HTML 5, HTML 5 Has No Captioning Provisions?. In addition, these articles further verifies that the iPad uses HTML 5.

Brightcove readies its video platform for the iPad, announces HTML5 support

IPad Can’t Play Flash Video, but It May Not Matter

The First Apple iPad-ready Websites Makes HTML5 Look Boring

You Too Can Experience HTML5 on YouTube

Join Caption Action 2!

Help ensure that the new Facebook Twilight Series has captions, and help get Starz to caption its YouTube channel! Join Caption Action 2 on Facebook,!


  1. ABC, CBS, and Netflix doesn't show captions on the iPad.

  2. Yeah, I saw iPad at Apple Store yesterday. Standard YouTube and Mobile Youtube are different video platform. Similar as iPhone. Mobile YouTube don't support CC. We will send comment for H.R 3101 to congress.

  3. Just a note: the HTML 5 standard is still being built and evolving. As of December they had their 2nd version of text definitions which includes subtitling, captioning, karaoke, tickertape, among others. For the latest see:

    The problem is thus either in Apple's implementation of H5 or Google's implementation of YouTube for iP**. Since one of the Google engineers is Deaf and hell bent on all Google media having captioning; if the fault is theirs I see quick remedy.

    -Andrei Freeman

  4. Note that the built-in iPad Video app *does* support CC. If the video contains CC data, you can turn it on using Settings > Video > Closed Captioning > On

  5. Anonymous, did you watch the video? She specifically showed a screen shot of that same exact setting. Even though it was turned on, they still did not show up.

    Also remember that the iPad does not use Flash, only HTML 5. There's mention of this in the post after this. Not all webpages make use of the subtitle tag in HTML 5.

    Is there something else we're missing?