I’m pleased to confirm that this week we released an update to our mobile apps for iOS and Android (v1.5) which has two key user benefits. Firstly we are introducing Favourites into the app, which has consistently been one of the most requested features from users since we launched. We know that many people already value having a list of their favourite programmes on the web, and to ensure that same list is available in our apps we ask you to log in to BBC iD first. This means you can add a programme via a browser on any device, and then quickly access it on your Android or iOS device via the mobile app, or vice-versa.

Secondly, we have improved the search functionality in the mobile app by remembering your previous searches so that as soon as you start to enter a term in the search box, we show you terms and programmes you searched for in the past. This means you can find content much more quickly with fewer screen taps. We are looking to introduce similar enhancements to Search on the web soon.

The upgraded BBC iPlayer Radio app: Favourites (left) and Search (right)

Now that we have Favourites we believe that the experience for radio listening is better than in the BBC iPlayer mobile app, so users will shortly notice that they will be directed to use the BBC iPlayer Radio app for all radio programmes, live or on-demand. Favourites from the BBC iPlayer mobile app will not be carried over to the iPlayer Radio app, as they are only stored locally on the device meaning migration is not achievable.

Last week we upgraded all BBC stations to the latest version of the Radioplayer console. This is the pop-out-player you get when you listen live to BBC radio stations via desktop. The new console has some significant advantages over the previous version, including the ability to more easily save your favourite stations, improved search and navigation around Radioplayer features, and the player now works on devices which don’t support Flash. Some users may have noticed that we no longer offer a “Hi” and “Lo” bandwidth option, as we found usage of the “Lo” option was extremely low (under 0.25% of streams). See the Radioplayer blog for more information on the new console.

The new Radioplayer console on desktop

On the web we have corrected a bug which was causing people who still use an old browser - Internet Explorer 8 – significant problems. However, we have reviewed the platforms we can support and decided to no longer support IE8 based on the facts that usage is very low and the cost in terms of development time is very high. These collectively mean it no longer offers good value for money. Our request and recommendation is to please upgrade to a more modern browser if you are able to, to ensure the best possible experience.

Another change is that we now direct users to more relevant category aggregations, with the aim of showing list of programmes that are currently available to listen to rather than fuller lists which contain programmes which have expired. So, on Radio 4 for example, we now link to the Comedy genre filtered by “Available now” and “A-Z”, meaning the list you see shows all Radio 4 comedy programmes you can listen to right now. We know from feedback we’ve received that this has been an issue for some users, so we’re pleased to make finding programmes by category a little easier now.

In response to feedback via our previous blog posts and email, over the coming months we’ll be looking at adding a programme A-Z link on our homepage, at how we display schedule information, and at functionality around Favourites. We read all feedback we receive, and it helps us prioritise our backlog, so please do leave a comment below or via our feedback page.

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  • Comment number 47. Posted by Chris Kimber

    on 24 Apr 2014 20:31

    Hello,
    again, thanks for the comments. Here are some replies:

    36 @Andy Morten 40 @WWFSMD We're reviewing how we present Favourites, and take on board your comments about showing favourites where there are no episodes currently available. It has to be said that some users like to see their full list of favourites.

    38 @middle_class Yes, we agree that playing all your favourites one after another would be a good feature to add. We're looking into this and other ways of allowing you to listen to more than one programme in a row

    40 @PAC For now, the BBC iPlayer iPad app still has radio available, so you can continue to use that. Whilst the mobile iPlayer Radio app does work on on iPad, we are working on an iPad specific app for iPlayer Radio which we hope to release later in the year. Please note that there have been some technical problems around on-demand streaming in the last few days which impacted the iPlayer iPad app particularly, but these should be fixed now

    44 @Parky I'm not aware of any problems specific to Chrome V34. If you can check there's still a problem then let us know what the problem is we can investigate

    45 @Redbookish As above, the iPad app radio problems should be resolved now.
    Re. the pop-out console (aka "Radioplayer"), this applies to live listening only, for on-demand you can choose to listen in-page or via the pop-out, its up to you.

  • Comment number 46. Posted by paul_sensible

    on 24 Apr 2014 16:44

    This comment was removed because it broke the house rules. Explain

  • Comment number 45. Posted by Redbookish

    on 24 Apr 2014 15:26

    You may believe that the new app is an improvement, but beliefs can be misguided. Yours is. The new iPlayer Radio app is a considerable downgraded and backwards step in terms of cleanness of use and navigation.

    1. Why separate out television & radio? I prefer not having to move from one app to another. I had ALL my favourites in one place.
    2. On iPod Touch, it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to navigate cleanly & easily.
    3. Radio Listen Again is not working at all on the iPad.
    4. I just want to listen to programmes! Not get clips or other such stuff.
    5. It is very clunky to move from one radio station to another.
    6. On the web-based iPlayer on my desktop computer it takes about 4 click throughs actually to get a programme playing. This is too many & indicative of BAD design. And THEN it plays in a pop out window which I really hate using. Maybe others prefer a pop out? But the real point is, your proigramming gives me NO CHOICE. This is so contrary to standard practice for websites that I wonder just where & when your programmers trained.

    All of this leads me to deduce that you've designed this "improved" app only for those who are using it to listen to one station live. The primary use as a "Listen Again" facility is now so cumbersome I may just have to stop listening to the BBC altogether.

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  • Comment number 44. Posted by Parky

    on 24 Apr 2014 09:19

    Any reason why iPlayer Radio will not work in a Chrome browser (v34) any more but works in IE?

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  • Comment number 43. Posted by WWFSMD

    on 23 Apr 2014 20:06

    Can the info for programmes listed under Favourites be improved? If I go to the "On Demand" listings, e.g., under Comedy, each programme listed includes the episode title & number. But the same programme listed under favourites simply has the name of the show, even if no episodes are available. It would be much more user friendly to see the episode name/number so that you could see if it's a new one or one you've already heard. Also, when radio was on the old combined iPlayer favourite shows with no current episodes would not be listed but would reappear if rebroadcast later; this was a good feature that hasn't been implemented on the new player.

    I can't see why it was necessary to split off radio but having done so it's a bit disappointing that two of the best user-friendly features have been removed.

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  • Comment number 42. Posted by Joanna

    on 23 Apr 2014 11:36

    I am disappointed that you have cancelled Iplayer Radio on large screen TVs. It was very convenient to listen through the TV and offered a better quality of sound than is possible on a mobile device.

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  • Comment number 41. Posted by Cath

    on 21 Apr 2014 20:36

    I'm glad that you are going to change schedule displays - the fact that I can only see 2 or 3 items per screen on a laptop is ludicrous.
    This bizarre arrangement hampers favourites and other lists also. It seems to take ten times as many clicks to find anything and is very fustrating.
    My iplayer radio use has dropped by about 99% since the downgrade, largely because navigation is such a chore and the whole look/feel is clunky and inelegant.
    Would you consider adding an option of a 'compact homepage' similar to that on the old iplayer for those of us still using PCs?

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  • Comment number 40. Posted by PAC

    on 21 Apr 2014 11:04

    I listen every day to BBC radio either 'live' in the car or via my iPad (radio 4 extra) and bluetooth speakers. I have resisted and resisted this so called upgrade and was very annoyed by the persistent demand that I upgrade. I now have a substandard app on my iPad that cannot give me simple, basic information EASILY VIEWABLE (eg the episode number for whatever series I may be listening to). I do not want to have use the browser either on my laptop or iPad to view these details. I am unimpressed. Do you ever listen to what the licence fee payers say? I agree with the earlier comments that maybe a formal complaint is the only way to GET THE MESSAGE OVER or need the comments be as oblique as the functionality of this atrocious 'upgrade'?

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  • Comment number 39. Posted by Jeff

    on 19 Apr 2014 19:59

    Curiously when I went to positively rate a few comments - none of them complimentary to the dogs breakfast which is the new and improved iPlayer - a NEGATIVE rating was issued instead. Are you becoming that desperate guys? So apologies to @2 Alllitnil for example - completely agree!! And @3 DBOne - "Please remember some of us actually like the new desktop site" Really? I suppose that`s technically true, even though.from the earlier blog a good 98 percent of us would probably disagree with you. Still, some prefer Spam to filet mignon....

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  • Comment number 38. Posted by middle_class

    on 13 Apr 2014 14:43

    Is it possible to add the facility to listen to all radio Favourites one after another, like a playlist?

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