Apple’s iPad and YouTube’s Automated Captions: #FAIL


I went to Apple’s store and purchased a brand-new 16gb iPad! It is a beautifully designed device, visually appealing and easy to use.

I tweaked the settings, to make sure that closed captioning is on for all videos. Then I decided to view YouTube’s “My Deaf Family” and guess what?

There are NO automated captions available!

Watch the video demonstration below:

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

It may be the iPad’s OS system which prevented viewing automated captions from YouTube. Contact YouTube and Apple to fix this problem. This needs to be fixed ASAP!

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20 comments on “Apple’s iPad and YouTube’s Automated Captions: #FAIL

it’s simple. Flash will not work on iPad (it’s a choice by Apple). So, you are watching HTML 5 version (driven by HTML only) YouTube player. To watch subtitles on YouTube, you need Flash as for now.

I believe they are working on including subtitles specs for HTML5 video player.

Hi Rene!

Thanks for letting me know and I am very hopeful that the fix will come very soon! What should I do next? Inform Apple? Let me know.


Believe me, Apple knows. Maybe you should have done a little more research before you bought one.

Steve Jobs did say that Flash has too many bugs and Adobe has to redo Flash to be fully compatible for touchscreen use as “mouseovers” can not be fully used on touchscreens as they pop up by moving a mouse over sensitive spots.
Steve says until touchscreen Flash is ready, no deal.

Amy, HTML 5 video player does allow subtitles, but it’s up to YouTube to implement the subtitles mechanism to work with HTML video markup. They are working on it.

How about contacting the Deaf Google employees who heads the captioning division at Google?

Touchscreen can’t have Flash on it. Apple has no responsibility on it. The Flash’s manufacturer must fix it. Once it is being fixed, it may work.

Right now, iPad doesn’t have any functional Flash on it.

Look, how long iPhone and iPod Touch have been out in market and Flash hasn’t been upgraded since then.

Same problem with my iPhone – it doesn’t show the autocaptions in YouTube. 🙁

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.

I think Apple needs to hear from deaf customers! See my review here. Apple apps all leave out captions-including the iTunes store.

Theres also a Facebook group you can join with instructions on how to complain to Apple. They have increased the number of captioned movies on iTunes to about 250 since people started writing in.

im loving the ipad personally. what do you think of it now? was it upto your standards?

I would not buy iPAD if it has no cc. I rather wait till it has been fixed.. 🙂

Hi Amy – Wondering if the iPad has a speech to text ap? My dad is 90 and recently has lost all hearing. He’s a great lip reader, but it’s just not enough. I’d love to know if you know of any product that has speech to text that seems good to you.
Thanks for any feedback, and please feel free to write to me on my e-mail.
Thanks so much for any help you can give.

Great Post, thanks for this fine Post. I will come back later _ Great information about ipad : ipad

I have a similar question as Lynn. Is there a good app for speech to text for the deaf? I am an elementary teacher and lost most of my hearing (completely deaf in one ear and hard of hearing in the other) due to a virus a year ago. I am very much struggling to do my job effectively. No assistive devices have helped as they only amplify sounds which become distorted and unintelligible when turned up to where I can hear. I need to find an accommodation to help me function in my classroom. I thought if the iPad would have a good app that would put into text what my students are saying it would help me tremendously.

Hi there,

The Closed Captioning feature in the Video settings is only for videos with the tv show/movie you purchase from the iTunes. This does not work with YouTube application. =[

Way to go! I’d totally suport this being hearing-impaired myself! Please keep me informed on what to do, thanks.

Keep up your efforts on this!

By the way, one of the biggest issues with flash was battery life, which is fairly critical on mobile devices

Hi amy,

i just brought new ipad, and very Disappoint as no subtitle~ i research alot, and still no luck, very sad~

If you use Safari on the iPad to go to and you can view the videos in the browser with Closed Captions. It’s not as clean as the app, but it works great.

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