Android Devices pre 2.2 OS

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  • Message 1. Posted by StephenCWLL (U2107606) on Wednesday, 9th February 2011 permalink

    Ok, so you are going to support iplayer on devices over OS 2.2, which will mean most new Android phones. I appreciate the flash issue on pre-2.2 OS Android devices, but why could you not create a 'raw' iplayer for pre-Android 2.2 devices that simply gives links to download programmes and no streaming? i.e. one can currently download on a PC a programme for a mobile device, copy it to the phone and watch it, so why not have an app so that pre-2.2 android devices can download programmes directly onto their phones?


  • Message 2. Posted by Eponymous Cowherd (U13748135) on Monday, 14th February 2011 permalink

    Its actually worse than you suggest. You also need the right processor in the phone as well as Android 2.2.

    The upshot of this is that even if you have Android 2.2, there is a fair chance that iPlayer will not work and the only ways to find out are to:

    Research your phone (before you buy it) to determine if it has a processor based on the ARMv7 core. This is, pretty much, a non-starter for the non-technically minded.


    Buy a phone and hope.


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  • Message 3. Posted by StephenCWLL (U2107606) on Tuesday, 15th February 2011 permalink

    I'm not overly sure on the hardware nature requirements of an Android Phone for iplayer, but I think that the BBC might be making it look harder than it is.

    For example: I have an Xperia X10 Mini Pro; Android 2.1. No iplayer in any form, yet there is a well-known piece of freeware that can stream ITV, CH4 and CH5 shows quite adequately. BBC was available on that but they withdrew it, and thus cast thousands of Android users into the iplayer void. Even with my Xperia, you could download a TV program via iplayer on your computer and transfer it to the phone to watch. So, I question is why it couldn't be made easier to just download files on Android devices rather than using the PC to do the job?

    Also, I have an HTC Legend (Android 2.2 - No flash support). Using the SkyFire browser I can watch programs on the iplayer website, but currently not a live stream. The programmes I've watched are very watch-able on my incompatible Android device, which is what the BBC would have us believe.

    My point is, even on my two lower end of the scale Android devices, I can watch programs that have come from the iplayer one way or the other, but it's not the most convenient method to watch them, so I rarely do it and instead use the laptop. My phones are capable, so why can't the BBC just help us all out and create a more simpler iplayer for low end devices etc to just download programmes!


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  • Message 4. Posted by Eponymous Cowherd (U13748135) on Tuesday, 15th February 2011 permalink


    The BeebPlayer application the the BBC killed off using a legal technicality (it is alleged to have breached the BBC's syndication policy) would stream live TV and radio, stream iPLayer content and play radio programmes in the background.

    It would run on ANY Android phone, right from the G1 (the very first Android phone on the market).


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  • Message 5. Posted by StephenCWLL (U2107606) on Tuesday, 15th February 2011 permalink

    Absolutely agree with your comments so far Epon smiley - smiley


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  • Message 6. Posted by Eponymous Cowherd (U13748135) on Tuesday, 15th February 2011 permalink

    I have just tried the SkyFire browser on the iPlayer website. It does, indeed, work on my HTC Magic.

    It is, however, most certainly in breach of the BBC's "syndication policy" (where BeebPlayer actually wasn't, IMHO) as SkyFire appear to use their own servers to transcode the iPlayer Flash video into HTML5 compatible content. SkyFire's own comments:-

    ***"This unlocks content trapped behind those error messages with question marks and blue Legos by transcoding the Flash content into HTML5 on Skyfire’s servers."***

    I wonder if the BBC will be sending in the attack lawyers here. SkyFire is certainly breaking the BBC syndication rules, they are taking the BBC's Flash content and transcoding it on their own servers (all BeebPlayer did was play the original 3GP streams "as is" directly from the BBC's servers), but they are based in California and appear to be a much bigger outfit than Skynet (the MyPlayer developer).

    Could get interesting!


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  • Message 7. Posted by Azurren (U14398146) on Tuesday, 15th February 2011 permalink

    Lets face it.. We are never going to get an Android app for the millions of "Mid-range" Smartphones out there. -.-
    Some "Fun" facts:

    * Having Android 2.2 (Froyo) installed on your device DOES NOT mean you can run adobe flash

    * Only device with a compatible processor (ARM7) can install and run Adobe Flash

    * Only the most expensive high-end devices actually support adobe flash

    * There are still brand new devices being revealed (Some today and yesterday at the MWC) that will never be able to support Adobe Flash

    Apps such as the ones quoted above proved that android devices are perfectly capable of playing streams designed for other devices. It also proved that the BBC doesn't have to invest any time or money into making a compatible stream.
    It is also becoming more evident that we are not all equals to the BBC. Obviously the BBC views Apple iPhone / iPod owners as higher class citizens, this is outrageous! As far as I am aware we are required to pay the same TV licensing fees as those who get access to iPhone / iPod streams yet we are denied it.

    It begs the question.. How much is Apple "Paying" the BBC to discriminate against us? How much is Apple paying the BBC to force users into buying their products?

    At the end of the day the BBC has to answer this question: How is it acceptable in this day and age "Modern Britain" to give a service to one "Class" of people, and not to the other? Oh.. You want me to say the magic word? Racist Racism

    Is apple endorsed by the BBC? I'm pretty sure that that is against what the BBC stands for. "If you want access to the mobile iPlayer, buy an apple product!"
    Or maybe I have this wrong.. Perhaps it's the highend android manufactures that are "bribing" the BBC to promote their highend devices

    Thanks for reading..


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  • Message 8. Posted by StephenCWLL (U2107606) on Sunday, 20th February 2011 permalink

    To be fair to the BBC and Apple, I don't think there is any kind of deal of payment to support iphones more than the rest of the smartphones out there in the world.

    I'm as annoyed as any of you at the lack of support for our beloved Android phones and the rest of the gang out there, but I don't blame the BBC or Apple primarily. The problem that the BBC have got, is like every other blooming company out there ... they think we all have iphones! Plus, because so many have iphones, they shout a bit louder than most. Also, the iphone is arguably easier for companies to write apps for, thanks to the standardisation of its hardware. If one is going to write some software, you'd start with the easiest and most popular area of the market first.

    Don't get me wrong, none of what I have said makes me believe the BBC or anyone have an excuse for not supporting other smartphones as well as they do i-whatever. People seem to be wearing iphone goggles far too much these days. That's why I went Android ...


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