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BBC News app for Android update released

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Kate Milner | 14:00 UK time, Tuesday, 4 October 2011

row of mobile phones

Android Phones. Picture by Tom Purves, used under CC licence

I'm pleased to announce that we have released an update to the BBC News app for Android devices. The update will be available to download from the Android Market in the UK from today.

We've really appreciated your feedback since we launched the app in May. In response to your comments, the update offers:

  • Homescreen widgets - offering you an at-a-glance view of the headlines, directly on your Android homescreen
  • Improved personalisation - as well as adding and removing news categories, you can now reorder the categories to suit your preferences
  • Ability to store the app on the SD card (widgets will not be available if you choose to use this feature).

We have also added the ability to send stories, video, and photos directly to the BBC News team. If you capture a news event, either as a photograph or video, then please send it to BBC News.

Audiences around the world will be getting an update via the International Android Market at a later stage.

To add a widget to your Android homescreen, find an available space on your screen and then long-press to bring up a list of available widgets. Choose from BBC News (large) or BBC News (small), then choose which news category you want to display. The widgets offer a quick glance at the latest headlines directly on your device's homescreen.

phone with BBC News app

The BBC News app for Android also now offers the ability to store the app on the SD card, a key feature that Android users have been asking for. Android apps are installed by default to the device's internal storage but as you add more and more apps you can run out of storage space, so we have given you the option of moving the app to the SD card. If you choose to use this new feature the widgets will not be available; this is a feature of Android that is outside our control, but as many people have been asking for SD card storage we wanted to give the choice.

The BBC News app for Android has been downloaded more than two million times globally. We're really pleased the app has been so well received. Thanks for your continued comments and star ratings. Please let us know what you think of the latest update underneath this post, or via the #bbcapps hashtag.

Kate Milner is Mobile Product Manager for News. She reports to Anthony Sullivan, the overall Product Manager for News, within Phil Fearnley's Future Media News and Knowledge Group.


  • Comment number 1.

    Sorry to be negative, but BBC News app still refuses to install on Honeycomb though.

  • Comment number 2.

    Does it work on Android tablets yet or are the BBC still sticking their head in the iPad sand?

    I’m guessing not. BBC are the slowest to adapt of anyone.

  • Comment number 3.

    This looks good, and really shows the benefit of Android's support for widgets. I'd like to see a few more screenshots (and I'm sure the Android Market would benefit from them). Is it possible to see more than two stories at a time with the large widget? A text list of the top stories might be a helpful addition, if not.

  • Comment number 4.

    I'm not sure that the BBC really get android. Why would you spend all this money on developing an app and then block it from tablets. You have to actually go out of your way to prevent it being installed on tablets, and you know it would work fine if you did - because unlike iOS, android is good like that. Seriously BBC, what are you playing at?

  • Comment number 5.

    Still not supporting Honeycomb!

  • Comment number 6.

    I'm beginning to think that the BBC's Android stance is deliberate, you only have to look at their reporting of anything Apple on BBC News, Focus Magazine, Click etc etc to see they are a bunch of Apple fanboys.

  • Comment number 7.

    Honeycomb support for this and the iPlayer app should be a priority

  • Comment number 8.

    As a real news junkie I felt compelled to comment although this could be taken as a review.

    I have been using the Sky News app for Android since its launch and must admit I have really enjoyed the simplicity of it along with the quick videos attached to some stories.

    On hearing about the BBC news Android app and a 2 month trip abroad where I'd be starved of breaking and informative news it had to be on my phone.

    As with any change at first I found the BBC news app so different that almost followed my own fingers to the familiar Sky news, but finding time on my hands I wanted to take a closer look at what the BBC were offering.

    The tiled design remains me very much of a Windows phone home screen, something I'm not used to on my Samsung Galaxy S2, however after editing my chosen categories I have to say that I have been impressed with the service.

    I particularly like the 'Live' function for watching live BBC news, this is something I hadn't done with the Sky news app and found myself comforted in a foreign country with news of home.

    The 'rolling' LATEST news stories at the top of the screen is also impressive, the difference with the Sky news app is that you have to update/refresh and then if it is not marked as a yellow breaking story try and find out which stories have changed.

    One point of criticism would be the large images, I would much prefer to have smaller thumbnails on a smart phone to maximise space for extra content, this is obviously not a problem if you are using an Android tablet but judging from previous comments it seems that there is no support for the honeycomb tablet OS.

    An option to change the display to 'list view' rather than 'thumbnail' would be great for smaller smartphone screens.

    I work within the industry running a [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator] blog and have used multiple platforms, Android does always seem to be an afterthought for many large services after iOS but statistically there are now more Android devices in the market with more apps being downloaded than iOS so maybe a change is on its way?

  • Comment number 9.

    The bbc news app widget should be resizeable on the screen for android, if the BBC looked how it is done on the samsung gs2, you just hold yuor finger on the widget
    to resize it to the size you like, The other thing about the BBC news widget is that
    the news stories are not live like AP MOBILES NEWS WIDGET the pictures and the news stories should auto scroll to the next story, I am very disapointed with this
    BBC NEWS WIDGET, its more like a short cut to the BBC NEWS APP which is far better.

  • Comment number 10.

    Looks lovely, would love a proper BBC app for Windows Phone, there's an unofficial one out there but it can be a pain (and for some reason has the World News logo on it)

  • Comment number 11.

    Good app on my phone, but really disappointing that tablets are not supported, same goes for the iplayer app. The news one should be a priority.

  • Comment number 12.

    Can we have an Official BBC Weather app and widget? I think this would be much more useful to many people than the news one.

    Most of the weather widgets available on Android use useless forecast data from US-based weather providers. None of these are as accurate as the UK Met Office data.

    It would be also great if the weather app could also have the following features:
    - weather widget with forecast for day ahead in your location (and next day or two)

    - show a live radar image (an optional part of the widget as well)

    - let you pan around the British Isles forecast (and other) charts with your finger while also letting you adjust a forecast time slider (the panning around is actually very very annoying on TV and think you should just show the British Isles as static on that medium, but being able to pan around yourself on a mobile would actually be the first time that such an ability to pan would actually be useful!)

  • Comment number 13.

    I would be very interested in how the BBC explain their development of an iPad specific version of iplayer but fail to provide a version ( or block) Android Tablets. It seems to me that the BBC are using State Funding (BBC being Funded by Government) to assist the marketability of Apple in breach of State Aid (at least in spirit) and I for one have written to the European Commission to ask why this practice is permitted to be maintained. Suggest other Android users do too!

  • Comment number 14.

    I love the news app and the iplayer, but I can't believe they won't work on honeycomb tablets. This really needs to be urgently sorted out. And when the next version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich (due very soon) comes out, I presume the apps won't work on that either?! PLEASE get this sorted out ASAP!

  • Comment number 15.

    Would it be possible to provide a direct link to this app so that it can be downloaded *outside* Google's Android market ? My Android device does not have access to this 'Android market', so I cannot install it. I am not alone.

    I could install it if a direct link were to be made available.

  • Comment number 16.

    Hi everyone. Thanks for all of your feedback. The current BBC News app was specifically designed for smartphones. We are aware of the demand for a tablet app and we will release an optimised version in the future.

  • Comment number 17.

    Just want to add my voice in support of an official BBC News app for Windows Phone users. There are some great third-party apps in the store, but an official app with video support would be very welcome!

    Pretty please? :)

  • Comment number 18.

    Not working on the Sony Tablet S, when are you going resolve?. Come on BBC dont hold back!!

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    Fantastic! But why can my wife get so many apps on BBC worldwide through her I-phone (old 3GS handset) and an I-Player app that streams 3G and not just through wireless. You have a huge market of TV licence payers you seem willing to just ignore. Look at your own news story about android downloads.


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