The Big Apple: How the iPhone's Updated Captioning Tech Surpasses Android
Learn about the value of closed captioning tools, how they vary between Android and iOS, and how to use automated captioning technologies.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Closed captioning is a powerful asset for the hard of hearing and anyone else who wants a detailed transcript of the voices and sounds of a video. It makes a big difference to the quality of life for the viewers when videos have captioning. Recently, Apple added a new feature to iOS for iPhones and iPads- automated closed captioning.
The new tool is easy to use, powerful, and effective. Now, any video can have captions. In the past, content hosts like YouTube have experimented with adding automated captioning, but the technology wasn't accurate enough to be more than a novelty. The captions could usually get the gist of the video, but they couldn't deal with uncommon words, accents, or words spoken quickly, and even without these complications the captions often failed to capture meaning well.
The new iOS update is a much stronger software tool. First of all, its ability to create captions for audio is improved. It has the accuracy and speed to keep up with real speech, so that watching a movie or a different kind of video is much more accessible for the hard of hearing.
That accessibility opens up a lot of options. For example, consider marketing. Much of marketing nowadays involves video and audio, not just texts or images. Video marketing is nothing without the audio to go with it. However, people who are hard of hearing won't be able to get the full value of a video ad because the audio will be partially or entirely inaccessible to them. With this new captioning tool, mobile users on iOS have real access to all video and audio content that would otherwise be out of reach. It's difficult to overstate how valuable that is. It opens up a whole new world for the hearing impaired.
Of course, automated captioning can never compare to the quality of a professional closed captioning service. A pro will be able to interpret and accurately place captions for a video better than software alone. However, compared to the offerings on Android devices, iOS has the superior captioning software. Android has built-in captioning tools, but they don't have the same level of accuracy and speed as the software on iOS.
One of the biggest attractions of iOS captioning is the customizability. The user can adjust the size, font and color of the text for captioning, as well as the color and opacity of the background box that surrounds the text. This makes the service easier to use and more approachable. This is important because one size does not fit all when it comes to caption text- based on the coloration of the video in question, different text colors and fonts are more or less visible.
The Need for Captions
It makes a major difference to the viewer if there is closed captioning available. This is not just for people with hearing impairment. There are some videos that make it difficult to hear voices because of loud background noise, and closed captioning can solve this problem. The closed captioning software on iOS is more than capable of providing clear captions in such a case.
The software that Apple has released is a boon to both users and content creators. Users can feel assured that they will be able to understand a much wider range of videos and audio files that they could otherwise. Content creators and providers will be happy to know that they can reach a wide audience without needing to provide captioning themselves. The software is a win for both sides of the equation. The future holds many possibilities for the development of better captioning, but even now there are great options for iOS.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.