I'm always really pleased to see an app that serves the handicapped, and Subtitles Viewer makes a strong contribution to this category of iOS owner. It's also useful for people struggling with a new language and want to view movies and TV in their native language.
This free universal app lets you search a database for TV shows and movies and get subtitles in your language or English for the hearing impaired in the U.S.
Here's how it works: You enter the name of a film or TV show, and set a language. Languages include English, Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Danish, French, German, Greek, Javanese, Hebrew, Italian, Malay, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese.
When you title is loaded, you wait until the first dialog of the movie, then tap on the screen. Subtitles will appear and closely follow the spoken dialogue. I tried a couple of films, including Gravity and Jurassic Park. Both had files in several languages. When I ran the subtitles against the film, the text appeared in the right place in terms of timing.
Subtitles Viewer is a handy app that will make many with hearing or language issues very happy. There is no guarantee that every movie you search for will be there or will be available in the language you may need, but it is going to be very helpful for many people. Of course, most movies and TV shows on DVD or Blu-ray have embedded subtitles, but not always in the language you may need, which is an another advantage of using a dedicated subtitling app.
My only caveat with Subtitles Viewer is whether theaters will object to a screen running during a film, given the general rules about texting and cellphones in theaters.
Subtitles Viewer requires iOS 7 or later and it is optimized for the iPhone 5. There's a similar app for U.S. $0.99 that appears to have the same features called Subtitles.