The BBC Sport iPhone app

Monday 7 January 2013, 07:10

Lucie Mclean Lucie Mclean Executive Product Manager

Tagged with:

I'm Lucie McLean, executive product manager for BBC Sport's mobile services - including the new BBC Sport app which was launched today.

The iPhone version of the app is now available from iTunes in the UK and the Android version will follow within the next few weeks.

The main features of the BBC Sport app are explained by the head of Sport Interactive Ben Gallop over on the Sports Editors' Blog.

The new BBC Sport app

To support the amazing summer of sport in 2012 we focused on delivering a great mobile experience for big events including creating the BBC Olympics app which almost two million people in the UK downloaded.

Like the Olympics app, the Sport app is a hybrid app. It contains the same web-based content as the mobile sport website and adds extra features and functionality using native app technology.

The Sport app allows you to create quick links to your favourite sports using the standard native iOS pattern for adding, removing and re-ordering. We deliberately set out to use patterns that users recognise from others apps and we'll continue to do this in the other native features we'll add to the app over the next year or so.

The Android version still needs some more development work and testing to ensure it works on the wide range of Android devices available and will be live in the next few weeks.

You may notice that some of the links in the app such as the football team pages, stats for other sports and other sport indexes open the old BBC Sport mobile site. The next phase of the app project will update these pages and add this content fully to the app and add football teams to the quick link options.

These updates will be released in the next couple of months. The tutorial screen shown when the app is first downloaded helps explain its key features. This tutorial is always available for reference in the app's Other menu. When updates to the app containing new features are available we'll update the tutorial so that it's clear what is new.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions

Watch the BBC Sport app tutorial

We learned a huge amount from developing, designing and testing the Olympic app and that has helped us hugely while developing the Sport app.

For example we know some Android users were disappointed that the Olympics app wasn't available on larger Android phones and smaller tablets. One of the benefits of building the app around a responsive web product was that it was much easier to build an app that scales to serve larger devices.

As a result the sport app will be available for Android devices with a screen width of seven inches or smaller. We'll also roll it out to the Kindle Fire family too once we've thoroughly tested the app on these devices.

We'll also be adding video to both the iPhone and Android versions of the app in the coming months. The BBC's solution for delivering video to Android devices was recently outlined in a blog post by my colleagues Chris Yanda.

We are developing the app for Apple and Android devices which currently account for approximately 75% of the UK smartphone market. We haven't ruled out developing the app for other platforms but building apps is expensive and as a publicly-funded organisation we have to prioritise the areas where we can reach the most users at the lowest costs.

Users with tablets and other mobile devices will be able to access both the mobile and desktop versions of the BBC Sport website and we will continue to use feedback and usage data to help us prioritise future features and versions.

Over the coming weeks there will be further posts on this blog by key people in the technical and design teams about how they built the app for iPhone and Android devices. Until then we hope you enjoy using this first release of the Sport app and we're keen to hear what other features you'd find useful in future updates.

The BBC Sport app is available for iPhones and iPod touch devices on iOS 5.0 in the UK.

Search for 'BBC Sport' in the iTunes App Store.

Lucie Mclean is the executive product manager for BBC Sport, Future Media.

Tagged with:

Comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 21.

    The reason iphone apps are usually out first is because it's a uniform design. Android OS runs on so many mobile devices. I'm sure they'll get there soon!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 22.

    Is Apple paying smart phone app producers to publish their apps first? Publishing Apps on one software system ahead of an other competing one, could be seen as favouritism and anti competitive behaviour. Particularly as the BBC is meant to be impartial.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 23.

    "One of the benefits of building the app around a responsive web product was that it was much easier to build an app that scales to serve larger devices.

    As a result the sport app will be available for Android devices with a screen width of seven inches or smaller."

    Wait, what? You've built it using an approach that scales to different sizes, so you're going to impose a size restriction. How does that make any sense? And how would being able to install this app be a worse experience for 10" tablet users than the experience of no app at all?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 24.

    "The reason iphone apps are usually out first is because it's a uniform design."

    No, it's not; there may be fewer iPhones than there are Android ones, but it's not particularly more uniform - e.g. the iPhone 3G, 4, and 5 all have different resolution displays, different CPUs and different amounts of memory.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 25.

    The android iphone thing is simple journalist use Apple products for the most part. BBc needs to get a grip of this and support the majority of licence payers not just the media industry apple love in:-)

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 26.

    Someone in BBC must have a serious amount of Apple shares, why else would you build an app for a small minority player with a market share half of the popular Android.

    Come on BBC the MAJORITY of your owners, who pay your wages (ie licence payers) have Android. Pull your finger out and produce Apps for the market leader first.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 27.

    I'm not sure exactly what the market for this product is intended to be. I'll Ignore the early release of the product for iOS phones, as that doesn't impact on the ultimate functionality/availabilty of the product. Firstly it's stated that this is a mobile application, so it's clearly targetted at smartphones? No, the bbc is "listening" to its users so will make it available on larger Android devices seven inches or below. That's rather an arbitrary distinction. If someone introduces a 7.1" Android tablet? Users of the iPad mini? Or what about people who may just prefer the interface of the app on their larger tablet after using it on their phone? I know it's a pain to develop for, but from an end-users point of view I now expect as a general rule, that any app I buy/install will work on my iPhone, and my iPad (any type of iPad). I expect a lot or most people with multiple Android devices would expect this too.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 28.

    @20 - no, they still support minorities. The iphone community is a minority and in fact they support them so well they can't be bothered to support anyone else.

    @27 - I expect the 7" rule was bought into cater for the recent ipad mini, which I'm sure many bbc exec's found in their christmas stocking.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 29.

    Still, at least this isn't as much of a pointless and gratuitous insult as the Antiques Roadshow app - available on Android devices up to 7", but iOS devices up to and including the full sized iPad.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 30.

    Interesting that the data you link to to justify releasing an app for only Android and iOS shows that these two do indeed account for over 75% of the smartphone market, however, Android has 46.6% of the market and iOS trails behind with 28.0%. Why do you rule out Blackberry for being 13% behind Apple in market share, yet prioritise Apple over Android which has market share 18% LARGER than that of Apple? Could it be true that the rumours (as mentioned on Guardian and Daily Mail websites to name just a few) of a bias towards Apple in the BBC are true?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 31.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 32.

    Why would you want to use an app, which has less stuff and functions, rather than the full website on your phone?

    Am I being thick?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 33.

    Please do NOT make this app available for the HTC One X and the Nexus 4/7.. I and many other users will stick to the normal site, thanks. Keep your rubbish for Apple. :-)

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 34.

    You say "as a publicly-funded organisation we have to prioritise the areas where we can reach the most users" ... so why do the minority of more affluent Apple-owners get the app before the more majority of financially-accessible Android-owners?

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 35.

    It takes longer to test the Android app because Android is so fragmented. Apple deliberately make things easier for developers knowing that they will be rewarded with apps being ready for iOS first. Why should the BBC hold back the Apple App if it is ready first? If you choose a crappy device that is your problem.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 36.

    Is there an app to silence Alan Green on 5Live?

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 37.

    Holy hell, look at all the whiney comments. The facts of the matter are that a) iPhones are easier to develop and test for, because the hardware is consistent from an API point of view, b) it's a smoother rollout if you focus on one platform at a time when releasing products, c) BBC gathered their own stats on mobile app downloads from a previous app, which told them no matter what the Android vs iOS market numbers are, their apps were more aggressively downloaded by iOS users, so that is why you focus there.

    Jesus, people. This is an app given to you for free that BBC had to spend time and effort and money to develop. What the hell gives you the right to be so petulant?

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 38.

    I'm a touch confused. http://www.netmarketshare.com/report.aspx?qprid=1&qpcustomb=1 implies that iOS has a much wider net when it comes to those that actually use their mobiles devices on the internet. The majority of smartphone owners use Android operating systems, yes, but only a fraction of them actually use mobile data in the same way as those with iPhones/iPads. Get over it?

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 39.

    It's kinda irrelevant how much market share Android has, what matters is how much app & web traffic is generated by those users. Cry as much as you like about iOS being on a minority of devices sold, the cold hard stats clearly show that the overwhelming majority of users who actually use apps or spend much time surfing from their phones pick iOS.

    You can take pretty much any industry traffic monitoring service you like, traditionally PC or Mac-centric - all show the same story. Android makes up a minority of mobile web traffic, by a significant margin. I've not seen a clear explanation why, leading theory seems to be that the majority of those Android sales are going as upgrades for less tech savvy feature-phone users who only use the device as a phone. Another is that Wifi setup is easier on iOS for novices so wifi-based mobile use is higher.

    So, if you're whining that the BBC isn't catering to the majority, well, you can sit back and relax now. Turns out they are. The majority of _the audience_ which is where their focus ought to be first. And the rest are not forgotten - a version for the Android minority is in the works it seems.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 40.

    Finally Wookie steps up with the truth, just as I was about to. The android whiners are a joke. Get over yourselves. The platform is horrifically fragmented and difficult to develop for for the reasons the beeb stated. Most owners don't use their phones for more than what their feature phones did before replacing them: phone calls & texting. Market share is irrelevant. Getting a decent app out to satisfy all isn't. Patience. I bet majority probably don't pay your licence just like you don't like paying for apps. Entitled nonsense.

 

Page 2 of 6

This entry is now closed for comments

Share this page

More Posts

Previous
What's on BBC Red Button 5th - 12th January

Saturday 5 January 2013, 06:00

Next
News Connected Studio

Tuesday 8 January 2013, 14:15

About this Blog

Staff from the BBC's online and technology teams talk about BBC Online, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and the BBC's digital and mobile services. The blog is reactively moderated. Your host is Nick Reynolds.

Blog Updates

Stay updated with the latest posts from the blog.

Subscribe using:

What are feeds?

Links about BBC Online

BBC Internet blog Archive

owl-plain-112.jpg 2012 ι 2011 ι 2010 ι 2009 ι 2008 ι 2007

Tags for archived posts