BBC News mobile apps
Today we are launching the BBC News app, initially on the Apple iPhone and iPad and, later in the year, on other platforms as well.
Our aim is to develop a set of core public service apps that bring some of the BBC's most popular, distinctive and original content to mobile in an easy to use and convenient way. The first of these apps is BBC News, and I'll be letting you know about the other BBC apps soon.
So, here's a bit more on the BBC News apps.
BBC News iPhone and iPod Touch app
The BBC News app puts the latest news from our journalists across the UK and the world in the palm of your hand. We've developed an easy to use design which lets you scroll through the latest headlines on your phone. The idea is to create a truly mobile experience that gives you quick access to BBC News on the move.
The app includes the BBC's top Stories, UK and International news, Business, Politics, Health, Education, Science and Environment, Technology and Entertainment stories as well as Features and Analysis from our correspondents around the world.
You can scroll sideways through each news category or up and down the page to access more BBC news sections. To refresh the stories in the app all you need to do is pull down on the interface with you thumb to load the latest news.
We have developed a neat personalisation feature which lets you re-order the news categories to suit your needs. The edit button, top right, reveals a customisation screen where you can add your favourite news sections by clicking on the green + icon and drag and drop each news category into the order of your choice. So, if you like technology news, like I do, you can move that section to the top.
The app includes a latest news banner to keep you up to date with breaking headlines and the BBC News Channel streamed live to your phone so you can keep up with the latest stories from the newsroom.
Clicking on story icons displays the full article on your phone. News stories include embedded video clips and social features so you can share each story via email, Facebook or your Twitter feed. In the article view you can either scroll sideways through each story using the navigation arrows at the top or swipe the story sideways with your thumb to move to the next article.
Finally, we have included a landscape view which you can access by turning your phone sideways. This view provides a handy way to skim through the headlines and get a quick summary of the latest news without having to jump in and out of each article.
BBC News iPad App
We have adapted the BBC News iPhone app for the iPad and developed a universal app that works both on the iPhone/iPod Touch and the iPad.
The BBC News iPad app uses the same design as the iPhone app to give you easy access to the latest news. You can scroll through news categories on the left hand side and personalise the experience by adding, removing and re-ordering the news in the Edit menu.
We have included live streaming of the BBC News Channel along with a breaking news banner and social features so you can share stories via email, Facebook and Twitter.
We have also designed a neat portrait view to give a larger reading experience when you turn the device sideways. In this view you can either swipe sideways through articles or click through the story icons at the top of the screen.
We have made a video demo of the BBC News iPad app which gives an overview of how the app works and the features we have developed.
This is the first release of the BBC News app in the UK and it will, of course, evolve and improve as we refine the interface and add features. Here's what we are looking at doing next:
- Adding BBC Local News so you can get the full range of the BBC's regional coverage on your phone
- Adding 3G streaming of the BBC News Channel so you can watch live BBC News when you are out and about. The live stream of the BBC News Channel is currently Wi-Fi only and we've got some BBC infrastructure coming online soon which will enable live streaming over 3G networks.
- Further improvements, optimisation and enhancements to make the experience better and quicker
A while ago we developed a series of launcher apps for Blackberry phones to give you quick access to the BBC News, BBC Sport and BBC mobile websites on Blackberry series 4.3 and above phones.
To install these apps on your Blackberry phone all you need to do is type this address into the web browser on your Blackberry phone and click on the icons to install the appshttp://www.bbc.co.uk/mobile/bbapps/
If you have a BlackBerry Bold 2 (9700) or Storm 2 (9520/9550) you can download a short cut app for BBC iPlayer from this page as well.
We will be uploading these apps to Blackberry App World in the coming weeks so you can download them straight to your phone from the Blackberry app store.
The team have worked really hard to design, develop and launch these apps and we would really welcome your comments and feedback. When we Tweet about the apps we are going to use a #bbcapps hashtag so if you would like to use this too that would be great as we are keen to know what you think. Otherwise do post a comment on this blog post.
David Madden is Executive Product Manager, BBC Mobile.