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BBC iPlayer: iPhone app and 3G streaming across all mobile networks

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David Madden | 12:00 UK time, Monday, 12 December 2011

Dr Who playing on iPlayer on iPhone

iPlayer on iPhone

More and more people are choosing to watch their favourite television programmes or listen to the radio on their mobile phone or tablet.

There have been record figures for BBC iPlayer on mobile with 1.5 million installs on the Apple iPad and 1.2 million installs on Android devices since we launched the apps in February 2011.

In October 2011 alone 16.5 million programmes were watched on mobile devices and tablets, up by 129% from this time last year.

We want to make it a better and easier experience to catch up on your favourite programmes wherever you are and, today, we’re launching a BBC iPlayer app for the iPhone and iPod touch, and introducing 3G streaming across all mobile networks.

BBC iPlayer iPhone app

The BBC iPlayer app for the iPhone and iPod touch puts all of the BBC’s national television channels and radio networks in your pocket. You can now watch live television channels and listen to live radio stations wherever you are.

The app is available to download in the Apple App Store now and is compatible with iPod touch or iPhone 3GS and above, running iOS4.3 and above.

We have developed a neat live channel switcher so you can easily flick between channels just like on your TV or radio. If you want to see what else is on right now just tap on the ‘Live Channels’ button while you watch. So, if I’m watching BBC One on my phone and want to see what’s on BBC Two, I just tap on ‘Live Channels’ to switch over. It’s an easy way to see what’s on now and flip over.

The app is compatible with Apple AirPlay. If you are running iOS5, you can connect your iPhone or iPod touch to Apple TV and watch your favourite programme on your television.

You can listen to any of the BBC’s national radio stations in the app. To make this easier, we have enabled background audio so you can do other things on your phone, like check mail or surf the web, while listening to your favourite BBC radio station.

3G streaming

We have worked closely with the network operators to introduce 3G streaming and create a great mobile experience so you can watch your favourite TV programme wherever you are or listen to the radio when you are out and about.

3G streaming is enabled in the iPhone and iPad apps and will shortly be coming to the mobile web version of BBC iPlayer for all supported devices (go to bbc.co.uk/iplayer in your phone’s web browser).

Note that devices older than iPhone 3GS and iPhones and iPod touches that continue to access the mobile web version, will remain a Wi-Fi only service.

We have also done a lot of work to improve the playback experience on portable devices and have rolled out HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) video infrastructure for the apps, which uses adaptive bitrate technologies.

This enables us to detect the strength of your Wi-Fi or 3G connection and serve the appropriate video quality. If you have low internet signal strength then the video stream will adapt down to suit your connection speed; if you move onto a stronger signal then the video stream will automatically improve in quality. The idea is to give you the best possible experience wherever you are.

BBC iPlayer iPad app

The BBC iPlayer app for the iPad also receives an update, with iPad users also benefiting from 3G streaming and AirPlay.

BBC iPlayer Android app

We have also been working on the BBC iPlayer Android app. We have got a bit more work to do to improve the video playback experience and add 3G streaming and we will be releasing an update to the BBC iPlayer Android app in the new year. For the time being the Android app will carry on working with Wi-Fi connection only.

This is the first release of the BBC iPlayer app for iPhones and iPod touches and it will, of course, evolve and improve as we refine the interface and add features.

The team would really welcome your comments and feedback on the app. When we Tweet about iPlayer we use a #bbciplayer hashtag so if you would like to use this too that would be great.

I am always keen to know what you think and would love to hear from you.

David Madden is Executive Product Manager for BBC iPlayer on mobile


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  • Comment number 1.

    Looking forward to the Android update. I really need the app to know the difference between video and audio content, and not keep the display alive when playing audio. Background audio would be even better!

  • Comment number 2.

    It's great that you're making all these advances and making iPlayer more widely available. I watch almost all my TV on my mobile & the Beeb is clearly leading the way in how media is being consumed.

    However it would be quite nice if it didn't take over a month to fix the problem you've got with the Nokia N8 (a supported device) - it's not been possible to get licences for any programmes downloaded on or after 4th November, although thise downloaded earlier can get licences!

    There's a whole a whole thread on the Nokia support site: https://discussions.nokia.co.uk/t5/Nseries-and-Symbian-Smartphones/Nokia-N8-00-Symbian-Anna-BBC-iPlayer-clips-will-not-play-UNABLE/m-p/1238227

    The only thing on the iPlayer site refers to a problem after upgrading (which is not the problem) and that you're investigating. 5 weeks seems a long time to still be 'investigating'.

  • Comment number 3.

    I can't see the airplay icon when I'm playing video. Is it proper airplay enabled or just mirroring?

  • Comment number 4.

    Instead of separate mobile apps wouldn't have made more sense (and saved money) to make a single HTML5 compatible mobile site?

    Now that Windows Phone's are rapidly gaining popularity in the UK since Nokia's first one went on sale last month will the BBC be releasing an app for that platform or even an HTML5 site? If not why not?

  • Comment number 5.

    This is a really great update - thank you.

    One request for the next version, though: Please could it support logging in with a BBC ID, in order to synch favourite programmes between devices and iPlayer versions?

    Other than that, it's almost perfect. I wish Apple would permit apps on the AppleTV, because that's crying out for something like this...

  • Comment number 6.

    As of now,unable to find the application inthe Apple apps, nor in Androids. Perhaps still forthcoming....Kwutabu

  • Comment number 7.

    @1 bouncysteve

    I believe that it will never be possible for the Android app to play radio streams in the background while Flash is used to host iPlayer content. This is a restriction of Flash and there is nothing the BBC can do to code around it.

    Could David Madden confirm/refute this?

  • Comment number 8.

    Any chance of being able to download shows onto phones / tablets as we can with desktops / laptops?

  • Comment number 9.

    Could you *please* make it compatible with my Android tablet? (Asus Transformer)

  • Comment number 10.

    ★★★★★ Top points for supporting 3G streaming.

    A more generic point I'd like to make is regarding Favourites. I use iPlayer on multiple iOS devices, desktop and PS3. Can't my Favourites work across all? Can I utilise my BBCiD account to host my favourites and share to the world also. Also, this would be a fantastic way to recommend content based on my Favourites. Currently I find it difficult to discover new and interesting content.

  • Comment number 11.

    Unable to use AirPlay currently on iPad 2 but is working fine on iPhone 4, both have ios5 updates can you advise?

  • Comment number 12.

    Hooray! Have been waiting for this ever since the App Store came out. One of the things I use my iPod touch for the most, is listening to radio shows on the iPlayer, this will help a lot!
    Any chance we could have a fast forward button though? Otherwise I might just have to carry on using the web browser version...

  • Comment number 13.

    Please Please Please Please Please can we have an app for windows phone 7.5. else an html5 site

  • Comment number 14.

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

  • Comment number 15.

    Why is Apple being given preferencial treatment?

    It is their inferior devices that started the need for these OS specific apps and now their brief spell as a top seller is over and they are heading back to being a minority market the BBC should be putting other customers first.

  • Comment number 16.

    Hi David,

    Could you comment on:

    How developing, maintaining and updating multiple iPlayer Apps for multiple different mobile platforms fits within the BBC aim to cut BBC Online budgets by 25%


    Developing a single HTML5 iPlayer web app.

    I'm sure this analysis must have been done internally by the BBC. It would be interesting to many I'm sure if you could share the results.

  • Comment number 17.

    Of course it would have been cheaper for the BBC but they would not have been able to continue their favourable treatment for and free advertising of Apple products. No other mobile supplier gets this favourable treatment. In fact they often lie in order to favour Apple - I still remember being told the Apple iPhone was the first smartphone, and have been told by the BBC that Apple created the market - both totally wrong as Symbian based smartphones have been around for more than 15 years now (and in terms of total shipments are way ahead of Apple).

  • Comment number 18.

    I trust the open radio streams will also remain available for older phones like the Nokia N900 (running Maemo) and yes - the Symbian ones as well.

    Maybe make those available over 3G networks as well as the naked streams my Roberts Stream 83i works on...

  • Comment number 19.

    A great update, I've just got an iPhone 4S with an unlimited data plan (from 3) and now I can watch my favourite BBC programmes anywhere I want!

    Also a good idea to focus on iOS, it is the best mobile OS on the planet!

  • Comment number 20.

    So, once again, the BBC's ridiculous iOS and Apple bias rears it's ugly head once again.

    There are other mobile OS's than iOS, and it is absurd that the BBC continues to push and promote iOS at every step in detriment to all other mobile OS's.

    The BBC also closed down other iPlayer compatible apps which worked perfectly well on ARM6 Android devices, yet your "official" app could not support them due to the reliance on Flash.

    Quite frankly the decision to use Flash video for Android was a massive failure given that (a) you could have easily tweaked the existing iOS H264 streams to make them compatible with iOS, Android, and pretty much all the other mobile OS's, and (b) Adobe are stopped support for Flash mobile anyway.

    As a licence payer, I expect to be treated on equal terms as any other licence payer. I accept that something must always come first, but it seems that iOS users *always* get preferential treatment.

    Massive fail on the part of the BBC, and to be honest, this whole issue should probably be referred to the BBC Trust, as it is deeply worrying that one company and that company's mobile ecosystem should be given such massive preferential treatment by a publically funded organisation.

  • Comment number 21.

    Well, I can see what the BBC has been feverishly working on instead of fixing the Nokia C7 and N8 problem mentioned by other users.
    How about an official comment and an apology about the disgraceful length of time its taking to fix this annoying unresolved issue.
    WE PAY OUR LICENCE FEES TOO you know- not just the Apple crowd who get pandered too at any and every opportunity by the BBC.
    Perhaps a journalist should investigate the 'unofficial' tieup the BBC seems to have with Apple - bet it would make for some very interesting revelations about so called 'impartiality'

  • Comment number 22.

    When is the BBC going to release an app for Windows Phone? Either that, or allow one of the many talented developers that are waiting out there to do this, get on and do it. Sky have managed to do this without any problem. Frankly, we have waited long enough for this to become available and the excuses are wearing a little thin now. As a publically funded body the BBC has a duty to support every major platform, and everyone agrees that Windows Phone is now the third major platform. It is ridiculous that I can stream recorded TV from my PC to my phone but not from the original source.

  • Comment number 23.

    It is easier to develop apps for iOS than Android. Windows Phone 7 is also relatively new. The vast majority of app developers produce apps for iOS first. That's just the nature of app development right now and certainly isn't unique to the BBC. The constant whining and crying from people about decisions that the BBC make is incredibly tiresome.

  • Comment number 24.

    @3 Matt Hamm - here's an explanation of how to get AirPlay working: https://www.fabricoffolly.com/2011/12/how-to-get-airplay-working-on-bbc.html

  • Comment number 25.

    It's really good to see the iPad apps work on 3G rather than just wifi, but when will be in a position to be able to download a couple of programmes when we are connected to wifi and then watch on the move when data connections are unavailable ?

  • Comment number 26.

    can't seem to see any airplay icon on my iPad 1 or iPhone 3GS ???? Please don't say that the airplay compatibility is just mirroring!!

  • Comment number 27.

    I've got an iPhone 3g, which only has iOS 4.2.1, not 4.3. Is it really too much to expect a simple app like this to work? Why the dependency on an OS version that we can't get to without an expensive new phone?

  • Comment number 28.

    Thanks for the update, but I can't see any AirPlay option in the app when using an iPad 2. Could someone clarify, please?

  • Comment number 29.

    Do you need a tv licence to play this on IPAD now ?

  • Comment number 30.

    I have a simple question - when will this technology be available for Windows Phone 7 devices. It seems that WP7 is being ignored. It may be a low proportion of the market but it is growing and should not be ignored.

  • Comment number 31.

    Is this application available for download in the US? I checked on the AppStore but couldn't find the BBC iPlayer app mentioned in this Blog.

  • Comment number 32.

    Can't get AirPlay to work on this, even after following the instructions (hitting the home key twice just brings up my running apps interface). So how do we get AirPlay to work peeps?

  • Comment number 33.

    @23 AndyTSJ

    ***"It is easier to develop apps for iOS than Android."***
    Errm, no it isn't. I develop apps for both, and for actual development there is actually little to choose between them. Personally I prefer the Android API, but that is personal preference.

    As far as setting up for development is concerned, Android wins hands down. You can develop for Android on Windows, Mac or Linux. If you want to develop iPhone apps, you have to buy a Mac.

    As far as deploying your app goes, again a win for Android. No messing about with getting your app approved.

    In actual fact, there were two very capable 3rd party iPlayer client apps available for Android. The BBC had them both killed off.

    BeebPlayer was capable of streaming over 3G (it even told you how much of your data allowance each programme would use), it could also play radio streams in the background and would work on any Android handset (not just the high-end ones like the "official" iPlayer app. The other app, MyPlayer, could save programmes for later viewing.

    So the things people are asking for are quite capable of being done (because they already have been done). I find it staggering that the author of BeebPlayer, someone working on his own, in his own time, could produce an app of the quality of BeebPlayer, and provide regular updates to keep it working, while the might of the BBC only managed to produce something that is, IMHO, barely fit for purpose, with several bugs and major deficiencies, and have failed to do anything to address those problems since the app was released last February.

  • Comment number 34.

    Am using iOS 5 on both iPad2 an iPhone4, but can't see how to use airplay - does it just 'happen' or do I need to enable/confgure some how?

    Also, any plans to allow downloaded content rather than streaming, as this would make iPlayer much more viable as a way of catching up on my daily commute.

  • Comment number 35.


  • Comment number 36.

    Yay BBC to re-invent BEEB Player and MyPlayer a year or so after then force them to close down. Except now, instead of working on all Android phones it will only work on phones Adobe support e.g not ARM6 of which millions are still being sold e.g Orange San Francisco.

    Please remind us again why that paying the BBC license fee DOESN'T entitle me to view BBC content on my phone ? Luckily I still have Beebplayer and MyPlayer, before the BBC got them banned so can watch BBC iPlayer over 3G now.... its like the future ;-)

  • Comment number 37.

    I have Windows Phone 7, where is my iplayer? This is yet another vanity project for the BBC. Being a public service broadcaster, you'd think that they would first target the masses first. Putting my phone allegiances aside, the majority of odinary people in the UK don't own iPhones or iPads, they most likely use a Nokia based Symbian OS Feature phone or smartphone. But the BBC wants the 'cool' factor so it ignores the majority of the mobile phone public.

  • Comment number 38.

    I have been waiting a long time for the iPlayer app on iOS and it's great to see it, a couple of comments;

    - I use an ipod in a dock for radio play and the app seems to only offer landscape mode, which isn't great when the ipod docked upright
    - It would be great to browse content while the radio continues to play, at present the stream stops

    Keep up the great work!

  • Comment number 39.

    I'd like to add my voice to the masses asking for a Windows Phone app. You might live to talk to these people https://ww2.fatattitude.com/software/silverlive-techspecs.aspx
    who have HLS support for the desktop version of Silverlight and are looking to bring it to Windows Phone.

  • Comment number 40.

    Is it my imagination or have we lost the HD option on the iPad? I'm sure that it used to be there.

  • Comment number 41.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 42.

    +1 for Windows Phone compatibility

  • Comment number 43.

    I can't see the BBC developing a Windows Phone client until the platform gains some traction. This is likely now that Nokia has got into bed with Microsoft, but is by no means certain.

    If the BBC did the sensible thing and licensed 3rd party developers to produce iPlayer clients (or, even better, published a public API), then you would soon see decent iPlayer clients appear for most platforms.

    As it stands, the BBC is unable to maintain its current iPlayer app portfolio. The Android client has been barely fit for purpose since its release in February(see Here:https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2011/10/interesting_open_post_autumn_2.html?postId=110669432 for a list of problems), so I can't see how they could even consider supporting another.

  • Comment number 44.

    Indeed. The current state of iPlayer support is analogous to the BBC trying to design every single TV on the market, and that would be very, very silly. This is why we have technical standards for broadcast, and then let people build TVs to suit.

  • Comment number 45.

    @43 and @44 - and others - the Beeb's public consultation on their syndication guidelines closes in a week - get the comments over to the BBC Trust...

    Get the comments in... please. Preferred route being for a public open API to allow plugins (ideally open-source ones)

  • Comment number 46.

    I have an HTC Mozart Windows 7 that does not support Flash, also an Android tablet that doesn't...and now never will.

    Please BEEB get to work on an app for the those without flash and using the Windows format. Please confirm if this will happen so I can decide whether to burn the phone or not.

  • Comment number 47.

    Have got AirPlay working now (not very intuitive, could we not just have the airplay icon on the same row of te screen as the progress bar a la YouTube?) but notice that when AirPlay is enabled and subtitles are turned on, the subtitles apper on the iPad and not the tv screen I am streaming to. Makes subtitles virtually impossible to read.

  • Comment number 48.

    I was very pleased to find recently that I could download programmes to my PC and then onto my Samsung Wave so that I could watch them while abroad on holiday.

    However, unless I'm missing something, it appears that the licence for the programme on the phone lasts for exactly one week. As even a one week holiday lasts more than that when you include travelling time, I wonder why the licence is so restrictive, especially as it appears to last longer for the original downloaded programme on my PC.

    Can someone from the BBC confirm that I'm right, and if I am, explain this restriction and tell me if it likely to be relaxed in the future?

  • Comment number 49.

    @_Ewan_ Alex Cockell

    There is a very good reason why the BBC wouldn't want a fully open iPlayer API. While it would permit the creation of decent 3rd party iPlayer apps, it would also permit more nefarious uses which, I can fully understand, the BBC and the people who produce its programmes want to avoid.

    However. There should be no barrier to the BBC producing an digitally licensable API. Without going into technical details, this is simple to achieve and would involve interested parties obtaining a key from the BBC, which is used as part of the authentication layer when that developer's app uses the iPlayer API.

    This would permit the BBC to cancel or suspend a licence and prevent that licensee's app from using the API. It would also permit the BBC to watermark downloaded content with a signature based on that key enabling them to detect if the licensee or their app is allowing iPlayer content to leak into the public domain.

    A system like this would permit the development of iPlayer clients by 3rd parties while permitting the BBC to retain control and oversight.

    The idea of a fully open API is, I'm afraid, wishful thinking. Even if the BBC went ahead and produced such an interface, the rights holders to many (most, probably) of the programmes would not permit them to be made available through such an interface.

    Having said that, the current status-quo, with the BBC attempting (and failing, IMHO) to provide a full end-to-end iPlayer service for all platforms is doomed to continue to provide the poor user experience and poor support we are all familiar with.

    Therefore I believe a licencenced API "middle way" is the best option. Or, rather, the least worst.

  • Comment number 50.

    Yeah, there is an Android APP.

    Which ONLY works with some processor types. Because the Android is stuck with Flash. Despite the BBC emplying a fairly standard file type, wrapped in a custom layer especially for the Apple. (Hardly an open standard that the BBC espouses).

    I am paying for the BBC to develope Apps and deliver content via Flash that I and millions of other Android users cant see.

    How the heck is THAT fair?

  • Comment number 51.

    Now that the bbc have sorted out streaming... maybe they can focus some time sorting out the DRM unable to get licence file when downloading content from the BBC using symbian3 phones such as the nokia n8. When I puchase a phone I always check to see if I can download content from hte bbc iplayer.... this was working on the N8 but for nearly 2 months this has been an issue.... cmon bbc pull your finger out... if I was an iphone user I you would be looking at the issue by now...

    see , joolz2000 comment or at least give us an update.

  • Comment number 52.

    IPlayer app doesn't seem to work well with Voiceover, some buttons are incorrectly lsabeled etc. which doesn't give a good user experience for anyone using Voiceover on the IPhone or IPad. Please resolve.

  • Comment number 53.

    When will all bbc apps be available on android? Especially cbeebies!

  • Comment number 54.

    @49 - Epon... how about maybe asserting BBC ID login requirement for 3rd-party clients? Then there's the possibility of watermarking with a user-identifiable hash on playout..

    In any case, as long as it was possible to develop and distribute open-source client plugins... and the watermark could be used to nail the actual leaker after the event.

    As long as, say, Linux distros could distribute the plugin - even in source for platforms like Gentoo..

  • Comment number 55.

    Is the app downloadable in the USA?

    I currently watch BBC using a VPN network that I happily pay for but wonder why the BBC that seems to be in need of additional funding does not make it's programs available for fee in the rest of the world.

  • Comment number 56.

    Please add download capability and BBC ID log in! Thanks for adding Video Out and AirPlay!

  • Comment number 57.

    @54: Alex Cockell:

    That, I'm afraid, would not be a workable solution. It is trivial to sign up for multiple BBC IDs while remaining totally anonymous using temporary mail addresses (e.g. mailexpire) and privacy networks (JAP/TOR). Actually, the BBC ID system is one of the more insecure I have encountered.

    The benefit of licensing the developer would be that they would have to provide the BBC with fully verifiable ID in order to obtain a licence key. That is a reasonable approach for developers, there will be relatively few of them (a few thousand). On the other hand, it would be unrealistic to produce a registration system that provides sufficient security to satisfy the rights holders for all users.

    And remember, it is the rights holders that hold the strings here.

  • Comment number 58.

    @57- Epon.. yeah, but would those devs then be able to *distribute* that code downstream? Because as an end-user of this putative plugin, I'd want it available in my chosen distro's repositories - Just a sudo apt-get install [iPlayer-pkg] away.

    Would want other distros for other less-known CPU platforms to be able to compile and package it for their downstream users...

    Would it be a case of the devs and Canonical liaising with the Beeb ahead of time - and could it then be distributed with Ubuntu in the future?

  • Comment number 59.

    Great to have a constantly-updated mobile app but if it has no offline capabilities, it really is of limited use. If I have to access the BBC website for content, I might as well use the website - mobile is great for disconnected scenarios (like catching up with last night's TV on the train, etc.) - or it would be if there was a caching capability.

  • Comment number 60.

    Wonderful app but why no regional news or radio? As an ex-BBC TV employee I find it frustrating that although the regional news appears on iplayer we cannot access this on iplayer mobile, you could use location services to check regions but tbh as all are available to all in uk anyway via satellite this even seems pointless. BBC local radio could be avail too - this you may say needs to be location managed but there's the option to 'listen live' via their websites so why not on this excellent app. Keep up the good work otherwise!

  • Comment number 61.

    Another ask for a Windows Phone 7 version here too, couldn't someone just talk to MS at some level I'm sure they'd bite your hand off to help.

  • Comment number 62.


    Hi Alex.

    There is more than one way to skin a cat. Yes, it is certainly possible to implement a licensing scheme while permitting source distribution, though I seriously doubt the content providers would go for that. In any case, I was referring to mobile iPlayer development, not desktop.

    The big problem, at the moment, is that the content providers insist that the BBC do all mobile iPlayer development in-house. That has resulted in the sub-standard, barely functional apps and poor support that we know and love.

    If a way can be found to permit 3rd parties to develop iPlayer apps, then that trumps all considerations regarding FOSS.

    Remember that the excellent BeebPlayer wasn't open source, but it was still a far more capable app than the awful Flash mess we currently have to put up with. If a way can be found to resurrect that app, then i vote for it.

    (Just to remind you what the 3rd Party, but closed source, BeebPlayer could do, that the official Flash based app cannot:
    It would work on any Android device (not just high-end)
    It could play radio in the background.
    It didn't require the huge bloat of Flash to be installed.
    It would work over 3G and, because it used the 3gp streams, was very light on bandwidth.
    The support offered by the developer was second to none, with frequent updates and answering queries.)

    For me, while making iPlayer client available as FOSS is desirable, this comes a very, very, distant second place to finding a way to permit someone, anyone at all, other than the BBC to develop iPlayer client apps.

    if the Android iPlayer client were a commercial app that relied on revenue to survive amongst active competition, then its poor quality, lack of support and lack of updates and bug-fixes since its launch would have killed it off months ago.

    The Android iPlayer client only survives and only retains its popularity because of its enforced monopoly. This has to end.

  • Comment number 63.

    Hi Epon - re the FOSS stuff - I wasn't insisting on GPL. More in that if the plugin was released under something like BSD/Mozilla/Apache licence - or even if a commercial app - allowed distributions to build .deb and .rpm packages out of it... this could also go for Maemo/Meego/Android packages...

    Agreed on other points though.

  • Comment number 64.

    @Alex & @Eponymous

    This post is about the apps on iPhone and Android. The conversation about other implementation of iPhone is intelligent and constructive, but it's not the topic of this post.



  • Comment number 65.

    @64 - Ian - don't you mean "... other implementations of iPlayer"? ;-)

  • Comment number 66.

    Umm - Ian - any chance you could feed the ideas back to the iPlayer devs and roadmap bods? Just trying to help enhance the service the Beeb offers... as always.

  • Comment number 67.

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

  • Comment number 68.

    Please enable the android iPlayer app for "ice cream sandwhich" as flash is now available for it.

  • Comment number 69.

    Hi Ian,

    We were discussing the Android iPlayer app, or, at least, alternate implementations of it. Alex expanded on that a little to encompass how the notion of a published API could leverage iPlayer clients on other platforms, but, ostensibly, I was arguing how outsourcing development of the iPlayer client for Android, amongst others, could result in gains in quality.

    I don't see how this is off topic, certainly no more than the "can we have it on Phone 7" posts?

    On another note. I see another spammer has surfaced (reported) :-( Let's hope this doesn't become a trend or "off topic" posts will become the least of your worries.

  • Comment number 70.

    Can you explain why you block the iPlayer app from abroad? As the app is only available from the UK App Store you know that its a UK user then I don't see the need to block the app from abroad?

  • Comment number 71.

    This is good news. But when will you start to create the Windows Phone app???

  • Comment number 72.

    @71 Henry:

    Not any time soon if this is anything to go by:-

    The best selling Windows phone is being outsold 100 to 1 by the Galaxy S2.

    Given that Windows Phone:-

    a) Doesn't, and never will, run Flash.
    b) Isn't made by Apple (and is, hence, unloved by the BBC).
    c) Is as popular as a visit to the dentist.

    Your chances are next to nil.

  • Comment number 73.

    I see another voice calling for Mango support, but while the BBC depend on the eol'd Flash Mobile offering, it ain't going to happen. Perhaps the BBC should start considering HTML 5 and start taking advantage of the inherent RIA support. Maybe they might even steer away from forcing users to use Flash/Air for the dull iPlayer desktop offering... here's hoping...

  • Comment number 74.

    I hope you all had a good Christmas break, and are look forward to New Year's eve.

    Alex is right, I did mean that other implementations (or, indeed, alternatives to) iPlayer were off-topic.

    My concern is about anyone wanting to read comments about the BBC iPlayer on iPhone & Android will have to look through many comments that aren't really on-topic.

    So, with gratitude for the thoughtful and friendly nature of the discussion, I'm going to ask you to close it (or take it elsewhere): so I'm going to start moderating comments on this post that aren't about BBC iPlayer on iPhone, iPad or Android.

  • Comment number 75.

    @74 - Ian, understood.. but as a final word, any chance we could meet halfway?

    Considering that the Beeb may well have less revenue available for inhouse dev in the future, and that you're building on top of movable substrates anyway... could you take Eponymous Cowherd's and my comments to the roadmap and dev steering teams... in order that different user communities don't lose out in the future due to decisions and sudden changes of direction made by Adobe, Google, Apple et al (eg Adobe's decision to EOL Flash Player on mobiles)?

    Thinking of the iPlayer client-access API in a similar manner to the specs for PAL or DVB-T, formalising, opening and treating it as such would enable more iPlayer "television sets" to be designed and built... and for experimentation/improvement to take place where the Beeb may not be able to take that forward. For instance, implementation on frameworks like QT, GTK, GStreamer etc.

    Thanks for bearing with us - the BBC iPlayer client is a terrific reference build (from the view of developers)... just that porting it may be a cost you can't bear in the future, and you have friends out there who want to see iPlayer go from strength to strength... but also want to see the reach improved.

    I'll shut up now... please don't mod this down.. but also if you *could* discuss the ideas with the iPlayer devs, it would help enormously.

  • Comment number 76.

    It is clear that the BBC are praying at the Chapel of Apple isn't it. Get an Android app out please, a decent one! One that allows LIVE TV and Radio. HD would be nice too! I can do it through my PS3 which is a great experience by the way, but so far the Android offerings have been appallingly bad.

  • Comment number 77.

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

  • Comment number 78.

    You say "we will be releasing an update to the BBC iPlayer Android app in the new year. "

    When will that be? And will it also include subtitles support like iPhone app?

    Thank you.

  • Comment number 79.

    Windows Phone 7 Please

  • Comment number 80.


    Love this app but rarely use it. Would use it daily if I could download.


  • Comment number 81.

    Upgraded to Android 4.0 and it's broken my iPlayer app.
    Please could we have a decent app for once, including 3G, download for watch later and HD content. As a long term Android user I'm getting tired of being shafted by developers who still think Apple is the best selling smartphone. It's situations like this that drive people to more nefarious methods of obtaining BBC content.

  • Comment number 82.

    @81 Rambo16

    Unfortunately, the iPlayer app will not work with ICS, though the iPlayer web site should (Don't have ICS yet, so I'm just going on reports).

    I think you are a bit harsh blaming "developers". The developers and, indeed, the BBC itself, are constrained by what the rights-holders will allow. They like iOS because of its restrictive nature and in-built DRM. They dislike Android because of its openness and, therefore, insist on delivery over what they perceive as a "secure" layer (i.e. Adobe Flash), which, unfortunately, results in the poor user experience Android iPlayer users are familiar with.

    You are quite right about how this situation can drive people to use more nefarious methods to obtain the content they perceive their licence fees have paid for, but it is the blinkered, Luddite attitude of the content providers that are to blame, not the developers.

  • Comment number 83.

    Lets hope that the next version of the Android iPlayer app will be useable.
    Currently all video content stutters so much as to be unwatchable.
    My table has no problems playing video from any other sources, local or online.

  • Comment number 84.

    @83 Teleport:

    Don't hold your breath. Many (Most, probably) of the problems with Android iPlayer are caused by Flash. If the BBC continue to use Flash (and the "rights holders" won't permit them to do otherwise"), then the experience will always be 2nd rate.

    Just signed up to the free NetFlix trial, and the viewing experience on Android is excellent. No stuttering, sound in sync, plays all the way through a 2 hour movie without crashing, resumes where you left off if interrupted, doesn't need Flash and runs on low end handsets. All the things iPlayer cannot do.

    So it can be done and, I assume, the "rights holders" of the content on NetFlix must be happy with it.

  • Comment number 85.

    Anyone else having an issue with Ios 5.0.1, where when auto-lock comes on it kills the stream?

  • Comment number 86.

    I have been posted to the Philippines and even though I pay my licence fee in the UK, I cannot get access to the BBC TV. (I have to pay because I maintain a TV in the UK).

    Just so I am clear, I cannot get BBC on Apple TV in the Philippines (even though I can get it in the UK and in may European countries). Even though I am a licence payer, you will not provide this service in the Philippines.

    Does this appear to be fair to you?

  • Comment number 87.

    I had been accessing iPlayer content via this app on my iPhone 4, and linking the up to my TV via an Apple component cable TV-out lead so I can watch it on there.

    Recently though, when I've tried to do this, I find that I get audio for the programmes, but no video.

    I get video and audio OK if I use another source on the phone like YouTube or TVCatchup.

    So what is it that has changed about the iPlayer app in the last couple of weeks that has stopped me being able to access video via my TV? It was working perfectly well before Christmas.

    I have tried my girlfriend's iPhone 3GS and the result is the same.

  • Comment number 88.


    Thank you for your comment. I would like to keep this blog post to the BBC iPlayer on iPhone and Android; BBC services outside the UK are off-topic for this blog.

    You might find the BBC Online service licence (PDF), which governs what services BBC Online can provide of interest. It talks about offering UK users on-demand content.

    Also, there are many shows the BBC can legally broadcast in the UK but not stream abroad.

  • Comment number 89.

    When will I be able to listen to regional radio stations on my iPhone .i listen to radio Scotland and would enjoy being able listen while on the move.

  • Comment number 90.

    Android app is currently not compatible with my daughter's Zenithink zt-280 cortex a9 tablet runnng android 4. Also trouble if iplayer is tried from the browser. Is there any chance that the update will solve these problems? Would be good!

  • Comment number 91.

    Thanks for the 3G support! I listen to the radio mostly while walking to/from work and the sound quality is truly superb.

    I understand how HLS works however it might not always be advisable to stream at the highest supported bitrate. With an unlimited data plan, it's fine (subject to "fair usage policies" enforced by the network providers). However, streaming audio (I'm thinking Radio 4 talk shows) at a rate of approximately 1MB/min will be a concern for many mobile iPlayer users. A typical 500MB monthly data allowance would get spent listening to 8h 20m of radio.

    Offline sync would solve this problem for on-demand / catch-up. But for live streaming it would be nice to have the option of choosing a maximum bitrate or a suitable 'best' HLS profile to stream at so we can keep some of our data allowance for things other than iPlayer!

    Thanks and keep up the excellent work!

  • Comment number 92.

    I've been trying to install iplayer on a Asus Prime and it keeps telling me that 'this item cannot be installed in your device's country'. I'm in the UK with my device so I'm a little perplexed, does anyone know why this is?

  • Comment number 93.

    A couple of years ago, I used a Nokia 5800. I could download and save BBC programmes from the iplayer- very useful when abroad for a few days. I now have a Samsung Galaxy S, and can use the iplayer via WIFI, but have been unable to download and save any programmes. Can only stream them on WIFI networks. Have I missed how to download a programme or can we no longer do this?


  • Comment number 94.

    @93 RobinC

    I'm afraid the Android iPlayer app won't save for later use or stream over 3G.

    It also will not play radio streams without the screen being on, cannot resume a programme where you left off if interrupted by a call and, due to its reliance on Adobe Flash, cannot be used on cheaper handsets.

    There were two 3rd party iPlayer apps which didn't have these limitations (BeebPlayer and MyPlayer), but these have been removed from the Adroid Market at the behest of the BBC.

    And they call this progress?

  • Comment number 95.

    The recent changes to Radioplayer has cut me off! I use a netbook computer running linux mint and firefox. It used to work fine until about a week ago. Now if I want to listen to the radio, I have to boot into windoze (firefox), where it works fine.

    Any ideas?

  • Comment number 96.

    I have BBC i Player working fine on my HTC Desire phone but it wont load on my Asus transformer prime TF201. It says this "phone" in not supported. When will it be?

  • Comment number 97.

    About a year and a half ago, Beebplayer and MyPlayer allowed me to view BBC content over 3G and to sideload. Then the BBC killed both and instead offered a far inferior iPlayer that is virtually useless (Wi-Fi only on a smartphone is silly).

    Now, a year and a half later, I'm STILL waiting for the BBC to replace the functionality it removed from the Android universe. This is, by definition not progress -we're not even back where we were yet.

  • Comment number 98.

    @97 David Traynier:-

    I agree completely, but you have to read between the lines as to why this has occurred.

    There are, for example, several 3rd party BBC News apps available for Android. The BBC hasn't closed these down, despite the fact that they are making identical use of the BBC new feeds as BeebPlayer made of the iPlayer feeds and could therefore be charged with the same breaches of the BBC's syndication policy.

    Why would this be?

    Why would the BBC shoot itself in the foot by killing off two popular iPlayer apps and replacing them with its own, exceedingly inferior, effort? Why would it invite all of this bad publicity?

    It wouldn't. At least not by its own volition.

    And who has the ability to bully the BBC like that. None but those that provide the content in the first place.

  • Comment number 99.

    I finally got to download this app for my iphone and iPad. A great piece of software that allows me to watch my favourite programs on the go.

    Well done BBC for delivering yet another break through in broadcasting. Just need to deal with the issues around having this on the xBox platform now!!

  • Comment number 100.

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


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