iOS 11 video player gets a serious upgrade


iOS 11 has gotten a big upgrade to its QuickView video player,
the one that takes care of videos playing in apps, on web
sites, and so on. Previously you only got a basic video
scrubber, a volume slider, and a play button. Now, you can not
only access subtitles and AirPlay right from the video screen,
but you can control pretty much everything in the new iOS 11
video player with a keyboard.

All-new interface in iOS 11 video player

First up, the new on-screen controls. When you’re watching a
video in either full-screen, or in the embedded view where the
video sits in the surrounding page, you can now play and pause
like before, but you can also tap controls to skip forward and
back by 15 seconds. The volume slider has been replaced by a
mute toggle, but if you swipe on this new icon, a slider
appears. You can also toggle full-screen and (on compatible
iPads) Picture in Picture view, as well as choosing an AirPlay
device or Apple TV as a destination for sound or video. There’s
also a new subtitles button. If the video has subtitles, this
switches them on and off. It even works with YouTube videos
that have auto-generated subtitles, which is pretty rad,
although those subs are often pretty bad.

Full keyboard control

The keyboard controls for vidoe on iOS 11 might be better than the Mac's.The keyboard controls for vidoe on iOS
11 might be better than the Mac’s.
Photo: Cult of Mac

But perhaps best of all is the full
keyboard control. This starts with the basics — the spacebar
toggles play/pause, for example — but quickly goes nuts,
control-wise. You can control the volume with the up/down arrow
keys, skip back and forward by 15 seconds, return to the
beginning, rewind and fast-forward, and even step through your
video one frame at a time.

This is
pretty amazing stuff. For instance, if you use a keyboard
cover, this is a fast way to pause a movie when you go to the
bathroom. I play guitar, and often watch videos to learn a new
song. Now I can tap keys to repeat sections, instead of having
to tap the screen, then scrub, losing my place on the guitar as
I go.

most interesting is that this all remains hidden from view for
most users. The keyboard control is definitely there for power
users, which — when taken with all the new features for the
iPad in iOS 11 — shows that Apple really is making the iPad
into a tool for professionals.


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