BBC Sport Kindle app and updates to the iPhone and Android apps

Thursday 1 August 2013, 08:39

Ryan Thomas Hewitt Ryan Thomas Hewitt Business Analyst

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Hello, I’m Ryan Thomas Hewitt – Business Analyst for BBC Sport apps.

Today we’re making two announcements:

i) BBC Sport has released a free app for Kindle Fire devices. This app optimises the BBC Sport experience on Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HDs.

ii) Updates have been made to improve the BBC Sport iPhone and Android smartphone apps. These updates are also available to Kindle Fire users, and provide access to even more sports news and offer increased customisation.

Kindle Fire app

The Kindle app has been launched in the UK Amazon Appstore, allowing users to follow the latest sports news, scores, video and gossip:

kindle fire 3.jpg Left: Kindle Fire home page Right: gossip column in Kindle Fire

The Kindle Fire release is part of our efforts to bring BBC Sport to users regardless of what device they are on. We now offer apps in the Amazon Appstore, Apple App Store and Google Play and of course have mobile and desktop browser sites. Because Kindle Fire devices use a version of the Android operating system, we were able to optimise our existing Android app to bring the native mobile functionality app to new users in a highly efficient way.

The Kindle Fire app will be released into the international Amazon Appstores in the coming weeks.

iPhone and Android app updates

We are also offering updates to the iPhone and Android smartphone apps, which will be automatically included in the Kindle Fire app at launch. These updates include access to numerous newly refreshed sports indexes - including athletics, boxing, cycling and snooker. We’ve done this using dynamic configuration (dyno config), which enables the editorial team to update and promote content (e.g. The Ashes) or add new indexes without users having to update their app.

In addition, we now offer iPhone and Android smartphone users the ability to add football teams, sports and nations to the ‘Quick Links’ section, which we know from user feedback is an often requested feature.

The app update also provided the perfect opportunity to make some general improvements, including design tweaks, fixing bugs and improving the speed of loading the apps.

Next steps

With these releases the iPhone, Android smartphone and Kindle apps have feature parity, meaning they all have the latest sports content and customisation features

We are always interested to hear your feedback, which we collect from app reviews, emails, Twitter and elsewhere, and we’re already exploring some of the more popular suggestions, including Android widgets and enabling Radio 5 Live and Radio 5 Live Sports Extra playback.

I’d be interested to hear which features you’d like to see added to the apps and why in comments.

Ryan Thomas Hewitt is a business analyst in News and Knowledge, BBC Future Media

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Comments

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  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 1.

    Are you working on a Windows Phone 8 version of any apps?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 2.

    Windows Phone version of the apps are needed. Particularly as WinPhone now has nearly 9% of the UK market for smartphones and is growing rapidly. The iPlayer was a start, now get the other apps out.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 3.

    Thanks for your comments Stephen Lappin and Mog0.

    As a publicly funded organisation, we have to prioritise our development around the areas and platforms where we will achieve the greatest reach of users at the lowest cost. In this case, we were able to optimise our existing Android app for Kindle Fire devices as they run on a version of Android, as opposed to building the app for an entirely new platform from scratch, which is a far more costly process.

    We also need to factor in how large an audience we can actually reach by developing the Sport app for a new platform based on the traffic we receive, among other considerations. This doesn’t necessarily track the overall marketshare of certain platforms. However, we do continue to monitor patterns of handset and OS popularity and shape the roadmap for our app accordingly.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 4.

    Since I've found somewhere to post this question, when will it be possible to downloaded iPlayer stuff on Android?

    (Oh, and I think the app is irrelevant isn't it if only you programmed the website in HTML5, I think I'm right in saying. But may not be!)

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 5.

    Hi Ryan,

    So just to make sure through the PR speak, you are not developing WP8 apps?

    As the BBC have been slow to adapt the web side, website still using flash for example, and the annoyance among android user's that you are slow on delivering in app downloads to iPlayer. Would it not be wise to avoid the bad PR with WP8 too and at least be readying the apps?

    And as above really, what is the status of downloads through the android iPlayer app?

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 6.

    Windows Phone 8 please. I pay my license fee and don't subscribe to the apple, android or amazon markets.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 7.

    Windows 8 app and Windows Phone apps please! Love the new Windows Phone iPlayer app (though would be nice to see the radio player feature added) and as a BBC website addict I am champing at the bit for Windows app versions!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 8.

    @MrBlueBurns @Gloss

    David Berlin’s blog post recently covered the status of delivering Android downloads. David’s blog post is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/posts/Video-on-Android-Devices-Update

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 9.

    How about Windows Phone 8? If the BBC are going to make an effort to market a new product then at least make it available on the 4 most popular mobile device platforms - not just two of them.

 

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