How Do Video Subtitles & Closed Captions Work on iPhones, iPads, & iPods? [FREE GUIDE]

August 11, 2015 BY EMILY GRIFFIN
Updated: January 4, 2018

Mobile video viewing has grown 400% in only 2 years. It’s estimated that over half of all web video views happen on mobile now. And Apple devices like the iPhone and iPad continue to dominate the mobile phone and tablet markets in the US and abroad.

Taken together, those facts mean one thing: optimize your videos for mobile iOS devices.

Why You Need to Add Captions to Videos for iPhone & iPad

Part of creating an optimal user experience means adding closed captions and multilingual subtitles to your videos. Closed captions make videos accessible to deaf and hard of hearing viewers, as well as any hearing viewers who can’t use audio due to noisy surroundings. Non-native speakers benefit from captions and, of course, from subtitles in their own language, too. Captions are also helpful to viewers with attention deficits, learning disorders, or autism.

How Do Video Subtitles & Closed Captions Work on iPhones & iPads?

Closed captions work differently when played on mobile devices than on a desktop computer. Typically, media players display captions from an accompanying caption file, or “sidecar file.” But mobile devices can’t access both a sidecar file and the video file at the same time.

The solution? Encode captions directly into the video.

Want to know how to activate captions for your iPhone or iPad? Ready to add captions to your videos for mobile viewing? Click on the image below to download a free PDF guide to iOS captions.

How to add closed captions & subtitles to video for iPhone, iPad, & iPod: download free guide

Read the free report: 2017 State of Captioning.

The closed caption CC icon shown in the middle of a TV.