Tuesday, February 5, 2013

TED Conferences adds subtitle translations to its universal iOS app in important Version 2.0 update

For me, one of the greatest things the iPad has brought is access to foreign publications – magazines and newspapers simply not available at my local newsstand, which went out of business in any event. What is missing still, however, is the kind of translation service similar to the Google Chrome browser, a simple solution that instantly translates the content from my favorite overseas publications.

One could say that this functionality will be coming soon, but I doubt it – Apple has its own agenda these days, and improving and adding to its iOS software no longer appears to be one of their priorities. (Instead, they remind me of the Detroit auto companies of the early seventies, doing whatever is necessary to make those quarterly numbers.)

So, if innovation in the area of translation is what needs to be achieved I think it will be coming from developers or other platforms.
 photo TED-iPad-subtitles-sm_zpsa00697ba.jpg
Last night one of the media apps that released an update was from TED Conferences. TED is a universal app that makes available what the organizers call "riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world."

TED, which stands for technology, entertainment and design, is owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation. The TED main conferences will be held in Long Beach and Palm Springs this year, then move to Vancouver and Whistler, Canada next year (not bad locations, if you ask me). Other TED events are held around the world.

The update to the iOS app brings it up to Version 2.0 and is an important update. The app description speaks of an improvement in the app's download speeds, but its biggest new feature is subtitles and translations.

From the app description, the new features and improvements to be found in the new update:
  • Subtitles: Over 90 languages available directly from our new video player, or over AirPlay
  • Translations: Browse a curated TED catalog in your preferred language
  • Speed: New talks and downloads get to your device quicker than ever
  • Improved videos: Faster buffering and more profiles for different connection speeds
There may be a problem with the app as updated, however. Several users have complained that the app no longer works with iOS 5. As many iPhone users have chosen not to update their devices because of the Maps debacle, this could lead to quite a number of negative reviews. A future update could, of course, solve any issues in this regard.