BBC Olympic App on Android and iPhone

Friday 13 July 2012, 09:30

Lucie Mclean Lucie Mclean Executive Product Manager

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Launch image, home page, and menu

BBC Olympics app on Android

Last month I wrote on this blog about the new mobile video services we've developed to help you enjoy the summer of sport - including live and catch-up video on your mobile and tablet.

My team, the mobile sport and 2012 team, has been using your feedback on our Euro 2012, F1 and Wimbledon coverage to continue improving the service, working on the video quality and reliability of playback.

And as we build up to the Olympic Games, I'm excited to be able to announce the release of our next new BBC Sport mobile product - the BBC Olympics smartphone app.

It's available on Android and iPhone, and we are introducing a shortcut for Blackberry devices too.

BBC Future Media's Mobile Platforms team, based alongside us at Mediacity UK in Salford, built the app.

Great Olympic content

The BBC Olympics app is built on the same content as the Olympic mobile website, including:

  • a page for each of the 36 Olympic sports - the perfect place to find out more about the rules or what's happening when
  • every athlete and country has their own page with medal tallies, news stories and key facts
  • minute-by-minute live text commentary to give you that crucial overview of 36 sports during the live action
  • comprehensive schedule and results service to help you stay in touch with all the results as they happen
  • most importantly, thousands of hours of live video during the Games plus highlights of the best medal-winning moments

Native app features

We've taken advantage of the extra functionality available in native apps to include some additional features.

In both the iOS and Android versions you can download the latest stories to read offline - perfect for when you're on the go and in an area where there's poor mobile reception.

If you want to manage your data allowance, this can be switched off (say, on 3G), or set to take headlines without images.

The iOS app is designed for iPhones and iPod touch devices on iOS 5.0 and above. Users can personalise the iOS app, by adding their favourite Olympics sports to the customisable tab bar.

The Android app is for handsets with OS 2.2 and above. Android users need to have Flash installed to be able to watch the video.

You can see a demonstration of the app's main features in the video. Some of its content (such as medals, live video and results) won't be available until the Games start but there's plenty of news and information available now.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash Installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.

Please do download the new BBC Olympics app and let me know what you think.

We're working on the BBC Sport app already, and we would love to hear your Olympic feedback as we prepare the BBC Sport product.

Lucie McLean is Senior Product Manager, Mobile Sport & 2012, BBC Future Media

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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    A great app.

    Will there be a Windows Phone version?

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Disgraceful BBC. "The Android app is for handsets with OS 2.2 and above. Android users need to have Flash installed to be able to watch the video." Not available via the Google Play store for Galaxy Nexus with Jelly Bean installed.

    Why the reliance on flash ? The iPhone doesn't have flash, why should Android users require it. Just like iPlayer on Android. Is this what I pay my licence fee for ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Apparently it's not compatible with a Galaxy Nexus running Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). That's a shame as I was very interested in taking a look.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Are there any plans to make the iOS app universal so iPad users can view at native resolution?

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Oh. No Window Phone version. :(

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Just to be predictable: Any chance of a Windows Phone version?

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    As with the previous comments, I was hoping for a Windows Phone version also. A few developers have embraced the 'difference' between Windows Phone (well Metro) versus the other platforms, to create some nice deviations from their iOS and Android counterparts.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    #fail x 2

    I have two mainstream Android devices.

    I have the Samsung Google Nexus with Jellybean and an Asus Transformer TF101 tablet with Ice Cream Sandwich.

    And neither will install the Olympics Android App.

    I'm guessing that the Nexus 7 that's "in the post" to me won't work either.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    Its a good app, shame I will have to watch it on such a small screen as its not available for my Archos tablet!

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    Thanks :)

    Just needs a few more tweaks to make it more Androidy and less iOSy;
    BBC logo needs to act like the home button and home button can go hide…
    Menu needs the treble dot icon instead, and please, put a share button at the top and remove the custom share links at the bottom of posts… I don’t want to use your limited set of share options, but rather the apps I have on my phone that I use!

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    So, Jelly Bean arrives for my Galaxy Nexus this morning, and then incompatible BBC Olympics app arrives at lunchtime.

    It requires Flash?! What a stupid move BBC, shame on you. Releasing an iOS app at the same time makes a mockery of needing Flash as well...

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    Works perfectly on my 4S, to all those moaning about it not working, buy a proper phone!

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    Great! It looks fab, well done. But why no iPad version - surely the bigger screen would be just perfect for it? Can you let us know why you decided not to do this? And will the BBC Sport app you mentioned also be just for phones or are you planning tablet versions?

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    1) An iPad version? That would be good.
    2) If the BBC Sport app is going to be a serious competitor to others out there then there will be a need for an iPad and non-flash video functionality.
    3) Speaking of which, will live streams available from the BBC website during Olympics be available for stream without the need for Flash so iPad can be used to watch coverage.

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    I second all the comments relating to the requirement of Flash. Just means I can't watch any BBC video at all on my HTC Wildfire S, which is incredibly annoying. Sort it out!

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    A correction:

    The Android app is for devices with Android 2.2 to 4.0 running on ARMv7 based processors that support Adobe Flash.

    While it is rather short-sighted of the BBC not to take into account Adobe pulling support for Android 4.1+ , this isn't such a big deal as there are relatively few Jellybean based devices out there and this isn't likely to change for the duration of the Olympic Games.

    Far more annoying is the way this app disenfranchises users of mid to low end (i.e, more affordable) devices that do not support Flash (because of their ARMv6 architecture).

    By only supporting high-end Android devices and the iPhone, you have produced a rather elitist app. What about the licence payers who cannot afford a £300+ phone?

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    What a shame. If you can develop for iOS without using Flash, why not for Android?

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    What a complete failure from the BBC. The lack of support for the Galaxy Nexus and other 4.0 devices such as the Asus Transformer is appalling. Hardly cutting edge is it? And it's not as if non-flash streams aren't available, given the fawning Apple support as usual.

    I own three Android devices. The two recent ones I use - Galaxy Nesus and Transformer - cannot install the app from the market because I'm told they don't have flash support (both have flash installed and working).

    Apparently my ancient HTC Desire will install the app, should I be bothered to clear the dust off it from the drawer it's been hiding in for two years.

    Rubbish work BBC.

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    for those diappointed about the flash only support with jelly bean not compatible but you can't really blame them since support was pulled from jelly bean rather late and app development may have been well under way but I am sure the BBCwill update it to HTML5 soon

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    Further to 12:53 13th Jul 2012, Eponymous Cowherd comment:

    I found this page useful to help understand whether it is available for my HTC Wildfire ( why it doesn't appear when I search Android Market) : . It lists what devices are Android 2.2. + ARM v7 compatible - which sadly my HTC Wildfire apparently isn't.
    I wonder how much of the UK mobile audience have compatible devices ? Lucie ?



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