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Video Demo for new BBC iPlayer Apps

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David Madden | 14:40 UK time, Thursday, 10 February 2011

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Here’s a quick demo of the new apps we’ve released today for Android (version 2.2) devices and for the iPad, both of which are available to download now from the Android Market and the Apple iTunes App Store.

Hope you enjoy the apps.

David Madden is Product Manager for mobile BBC iPlayer


  • Comment number 1.

    Can I see a demonstration of how to download something to my iPad to view offline, please? Oh, wait. There was me assuming that was the obvious feature for an app as opposed to the web interface.

    Expect a few comments about the Android 2.2 comment at the start, which neglected to mention processor requirements.

  • Comment number 2.

    ***"Here’s a quick demo of the new apps we’ve released today for Android (version 2.2) devices"***

    You are still misreporting the requirements for iPlayer on Android. There is no mention of the processor requirement here.

  • Comment number 3.

    I read back in mid-2010 that the bbc news site flash content would be made available on iOS devices by the end of 2010. Is that still being worked on?

  • Comment number 4.

    ***"Here’s a quick demo of the new apps we’ve released today for Android (version 2.2) devices"***

    How about a link to it on the new online Android Market or a QR code at least?

    And are we ever going to get a BBC News app (or are the existing "fake"/unofficial ones based on your RSS feeds all we can expect)?

  • Comment number 5.

    The current iPad app seems pretty good - thank you. I'm not personally bothered about programme downloading: why would I do that on a device with limited battery life? However, I would love to be able to log into my BBC/iPlayer account, and sync favourites with that account. Even better would be the ability to copy programmes across from my desktop iPlayer, though I realise the DRM demon might raise its head at that. Might either of those be a future possibility?

    Additionally, the current iOS app is iPad-only. This is not an urgent issue, as there's a fairly successful web-based interface for the iPhone/iPod Touch. However, the native app offers more features, a better fullscreen interface, and higher quality. Is it likely that this app will also be adapted to work on the smaller iOS devices, preferably keeping the high-res streams for maximum Retina display quality?

    I find that the method of accessing live TV on the iPad is a little unintuitive, although it works just fine once you find it. (For anyone who reads this, you must go to the TV Guide, then select a programme which is currently on and available, and has a "LIVE" indicator in its description - demoed in the video at 7:32.) The Android app has a "Live TV" button on the home page, which I think is a better method - fortunately the two methods could coexist.

    Thanks for developing the apps - good use of the licence fee, I feel.


  • Comment number 6.

    Please stop using Flash.

  • Comment number 7.

    All looks very easy to use if you have the right equipment.

    Why Android 2.2 only?

    Why no download to watch later feature?

    Very disappointing

  • Comment number 8.

    I would complain about the lack of iPhone support except that without the ability to view offline I've no use for an iPhone app.

  • Comment number 9.

    Being able to download onto the device makes perfect sense. Especially as you can't stream over 3G.

  • Comment number 10.

    Just tried the app on the HTC Desire (2.2), with live radio, and it's not very good.

    Once you play a live radio stream, you cannot switch to another running task as the stream stops. You also cannot put the phone in standby, as the stream also stops playing.

    The old unofficial BeebPlayer android handles this no problem.

  • Comment number 11.

    I had a look at the app today, but it didn't work as I was out and using my 3G connection. I could try it when I get home to my Wi-Fi connection, but then I'll have a media PC to use instead.

    So no, I haven't enjoyed the app, and I can't really think of any situation in which I would.

    The BeepPlayer app used to do a good job though. It's a shame the BBC made its author remove it.

  • Comment number 12.

    "I would love to be able to log into my BBC/iPlayer account, and sync favourites with that account."

    I am with Jef on this one, would be good to get the same favourites and recommendations on web and iPad. Also any plans for an iPhone app?

  • Comment number 13.

    The lack of 3G combined with an inability to download makes this completely useless to have on my phone which I only use for media when out and about. When I'm at home I have my computer, laptop and Nintendo Wii all of which run iPlayer on a significantly larger screen.

    Please can we have a download function soon!

  • Comment number 14.

    @Pete H. Wow! The Android app uses Flash to stream radio too?! That's absurd.

    David, what's wrong with the WMA/AAC streams that are already used elsewhere? Presumably, this means that radio is not available through the app on 3G either?! Even the direct "Listen Live" links on the mobile website don't try to play inside a browser.

    Since Listen Again first arrived, the BBC team working on radio streaming seems to have embraced third party developers. Just look at Triode's Squeezebox plugin, iplayerconverter.co.uk and beebotron.org - they widened access and were commended and supported in their attempts. RadioLabs even documented an API of sorts: https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/radiolabs/2008/09/xml_feeds_for_listen_again_con.shtml.

    Now we take a huge step backwards with a radio stream that can only be played when in the foreground....

  • Comment number 15.

    Well I was also looking forward to being able to stock up the iPad with shows to view when on Holiday or offline so the lack of downloading is disappointing.

    That said the iPad iPlayer app is really well made, lots of clever ideas and most importantly it's fast, it's easily replaced the Big Screen 'webapp'. Downloading shows for the next update please!

  • Comment number 16.

    I'm not sure why someone referred my post, but we'll see what the outcome is.

    For those like Pete H that prefer to play the iPlayer radio streams in the background on their Android device, you need to access the WMA streams from somewhere like beebotron or iplayerconverter.co.uk. Unfortunately, my Froyo Magic doesn't seem to recognise the asx/asf format, so you may need to open the file in a text editor and copy the direct wma address into the streaming media player of your choice (yxplayer seems to work well).

    Maybe I should make an app that does this last bit for you....(until it gets shut down).

  • Comment number 17.

    I have had a go at the Android app and have found it to be a massive disappointment. Considering the Beebplayer app had greater functionality and was created by someone in their spare time, I would imagine the only reason for this app being of less quality is because it was 'done on the cheap' eg less than £20k. Anything more and the BBC have been well and truly ripped off The website Eurodroid has done a very thorough review of the Android app, not sure if I am allowed to link to it here so haven't but Google. It is a popular site amongst Android users and it has given an unfavourable review too.

    I can't speak for the iPad app but the reviews for it seem to be better, so maybe it is different to that for Android? Also, I recommend that you stop advertising it as working on Android 2.2, I know of several people who have Android 2.2 but for who this app won't work.

  • Comment number 18.

    "I can't speak for the iPad app but the reviews for it seem to be better, so maybe it is different to that for Android?"

    I suspect the difference is that certain think called Flash. h.264 plays much more nicely on mobile devices.

  • Comment number 19.

    Downloaded this to my HTC Desire and I must admit that not supporting 3G is rediculous. The whole idea of watching TV on my mobile is to use it remotely. At least there could be an option to enable 3G viewing. The review does reveal that this app is of very low quality compared to the general standards in apps. I have 30 years experience in software development and I would not have survived releasing such a poor quality product. The BBC should alow others to develop apps for BBC streams particularly open source.

    It is clear that the BBC is biased toward apple and android products and as a public company this should not be so.

    I am particularly concerned about internet radio users who have to put up with inferior quality streams.

    It seems to me that under Mark Thompson the BBC has deteriated to a dictatorship which totally ignores what the licence payer want.

  • Comment number 20.

    I can only imagine that the mobile providers threatened to block iPlayer access if the BBC allowed it to stream over Wi-Fi, given that the mobile version of the iPlayer site *also* now blocks 3G streaming where it used to allow it, this seems like the most likely cause.

    Either way, I think it's something that needs a proper explanation; it's not good enough simply to drop features without any mention of why.

  • Comment number 21.

    Good effort. I look forward to seeing future updates and developments.


  • Comment number 22.

    People here may be interested in this interview with Daniel Danker in paidContent which addresses some of the points made in comments.


  • Comment number 23.

    Thanks, Nick.

    This sounds quite exciting: "nearly two dozen different formats for a proliferating number of devices". Even counting radio streams as a different format (which isn't really fair as you only do video or audio), I can't get much above a dozen.

    Maybe a new Android-friendly stream is in the making...

    And I agree that "being asked to make it available ever when you’re connected and, on other hand, everywhere when disconnected" is making it difficult to develop an iPlayer-for-all. But, then again, you mastered one of these problems 3 years ago when you created the 3gp streams: playable on any 3G connection by almost any modern smartphone.

  • Comment number 24.

    still no answers to why there was not a iphone version of the ipad app and the failure of the bbc to get the bbc sport app out in time (will it allow for me to watch live video streams of sports like the six nations which are all ready on the website in flash)

  • Comment number 25.

    iPad app looks good - looking forward to trying it out.

    Is there currently a way to listen to live radio on an iPhone from the mobile site?

  • Comment number 26.

    Forgot to mention in my post that the android browser can access the full iplayer website when in non mobile mode. It can also use 3G. For radio I use the Tunein app which again can be used over 3G.

  • Comment number 27.

    anyone who wants 3G Radio/A better radio app on android try TuneIn Radio (free app) has loads of online radio including BBC and works in background too. Think you can get it on iOS too but dont know cost.

  • Comment number 28.

    Tunein Radio on iPhone works well.

  • Comment number 29.

    I have a HTC Legend on Android 2.2 ...... but there is no BBC I-Player app on the Android Market ( on my mobile device )

    How do I obtain this app ?? and will it play on the Legend ??

  • Comment number 30.

    I can understand that every time iPlayer arrives on a new platform and device, the people who are not getting all they wanted get annoyed. But I'm pleased to see iPlayer in more and more devices, on Wii, on Freesat boxes, on blu-ray players. It certainly is going forward and I am very pleased about it, more and more people are covered.

    I personally am very happy to be able to watch programmes on the bed on my HTC Desire HD, before falling asleep. I had in the past watched live TV on the phone once or twice, but obviously with the app, it's not only quicker to get what you want, it's more pleasant.

    Thank you iPlayer team and I am sure you will do all in your power to satisfy more users.

  • Comment number 31.

    @29 BBZ968

    Unfortunately, you are one of the people who have fallen foul of the confusing requirements for running iPlayer on Android. The Legend has a Qualcomm MSM7227 processor. This processor is based on the ARMv6 core and is incapable of running Adobe Flash 10.0 and, therefore, is incapable of running iPlayer.

    Unfortunately, due to the BBC short-sightedness, your phone will never be able to run iPlayer while they stick to the Flash only (unless its Apple) mantra.

  • Comment number 32.

    so still no news on a iphone version of the iplayer app how can it be that diffcult given you all ready got a iOS version done for the iPad (i can handle only having wifi only app)


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