TED’s updated iOS app offers faster speed and streaming subtitles

Posted by: Tedstaff


The experience of watching TED Talks on your iPhone or iPad is about to get even better. Version 2.0 of our iOS app is out and, once you download it, expect faster buffering and downloads for videos, not to mention more self-adjusting profiles for different connection speeds. But the real star of the show: the subtitles. With this release, TED is the largest content provider to use iOS6′s new subtitle feature on its streaming video service. Meaning that subtitles are now available in 90 languages, directly in the video player. And, should you want to watch via Apple TV, when you scoot over to AirPlay, the subtitles will travel with you. Each language also now has its own catalog of available talks.

“This release is a very important one to us. Our talks are translated by a team of volunteer translators worldwide. For the first time ever, their work is now available on iOS, our largest mobile platform right now,” says TED’s Thaniya Keereepart, who led the update. “The subtitle piece utilizes iOS6′s new HLS services. Our engineers have been working very closely with Apple to make it possible.”

Reviewers for the app seem to be loving these new features.

Filip Truta writes on, “The official TED application for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch now features subtitles in over 90 different languages and faster buffering, just to name a couple of the enhancements delivered in version 2.0 … The app is snappier now.”

And Federico Viticciof writes, “I’ve been watching a few videos with it and it’s been a solid update so far. The app is generally faster on 3G and videos load faster than the previous version. Living in a town where 3G is actually faster than my home DSL connection, I can confirm video buffering starts quickly. I’m a fan of TED’s video player controls that sport the same metallic elements of Apple’s Music app. The big new feature in this update is the addition of subtitles and translations. Subtitles are available in over 90 languages and they can be enabled from the video player and they persist over AirPlay — useful if you’re going to stream TED to an Apple TV or Mac running Reflector.”

The app is available here »
And download the Android version of the app from the Google Play store »


Subtitles for Version 2.0 of the TED iOS app make use of iOS6′s streaming video service. Subtitles move with the talk via AirPlay.


Version 2.0 of the TED iOS app offers a catalog of talks available in each language. Subtitles in the app are available directly in the video player.

Comments (14)

  • Claude Almansi commented on Jan 19 2014

    In the IOS TED app, under the player, there are three icons. From let to right: a down arrow (for download), an open book and an up arrow (for sharing). What does the icon of the open book do, please? Bookmark the talk?

  • Adam Grant commented on Dec 16 2013

    Streaming subtitles is pretty cool. After Subcommune, now came across another iOS app that comes up with this unique feature. Both TED and Subcommune are highly recommended for all the subtitle lovers.

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  • MaNi Cool commented on Oct 7 2013

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    Just liked it

  • Sanne van der Ven commented on Oct 3 2013

    I like to listen to the TED talks on my way to work, a great way to enjoy my 30-minute bike ride. So usually I download a couple videos during the weekend. However, often the app starts streaming the videos that I have already downloaded. This costs me a lot of unnecessary data. How do I prevent this from happening? I could turn off mobile data altogether but that seems a bit extreme.

  • Shiqian Ding commented on Sep 23 2013

    I noticed that I cannot download the video with subtitle.There is no subtitle when I watch it offline.

  • Joel Birch commented on Jul 4 2013

    Will it be possible to sign my TED profile in to my iOS app so I can sync my bookmarked talks?

  • Noah Cohen commented on Jun 19 2013

    I have TED on Android. So awesome! My second favorite app of all time.

    Favorite app is Larky, of course.

    But who says you can’t care about money AND inspiration at the same time? :3

  • Tomas Truchly commented on Jun 17 2013

    Hi TED.
    I have a question. :)

    I have TED application on both iOS and Android.
    I must say I noticed that the video on iOS has much higher quality. That is perfect.
    I just watched video “Manal al-Sharif: A Saudi woman who dared to drive”
    There is possibility to turn English and I think also Arabic subtitles, but there is no possibility to do this on iOS. ( I wanted to airplay with subtitles. )

    So .. how come? :)

    I also noticed that subtitles on Android are maybe 5-8seconds late.. with this video.

    Thaks for info.
    You do great job.
    Greetings from Slovakia :)

    • Tomas Truchly commented on Jun 17 2013

      But other videos (older) seems to play just normally with the subs… So I guess it just takes some time to upload subtitles. :)

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