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The BBC Sport iPhone app

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Lucie Mclean Lucie Mclean | 07:10 UK time, Monday, 7 January 2013

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.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Good to hear that an Android version is on the way but why have iOS devices been prioritised yet again by the BBC in the release of an app? Kindle Fire as third choice is 'interesting' given the way Windows 8 devices (phone and tablet) are rapidly becoming a significant choice - Third party apps using BBC feeds and presenting a 'BBC appearance' are filling the Windows 8 gap, none with the quality one would expect from the BBC itself.

  • Comment number 2.

    BBC should have ideally waited and launch iphone and android app together. It is compleletely wrong to prioritize one market when there is another section of big android market. BBC should not also forget windows app. Windows platform are getting very popular.

  • Comment number 3.

    Very bad form BBC that this has been released as an 'i' only app (even if an Android app is on the way). Could all forms of the App not have been released together? There must be millions of us out there that either can't afford Apple's prices, or just aren't daft enough to pay them - why are we always left out??

  • Comment number 4.

    I'm getting really annoyed about the BBC's obsession with Apple products that only account for around 20% of the UK market.

    Every advert and plug for the radio player app keeps quoting it as a 'Smartphone App' when they actually mean 'iPhone'
    Every time a new app is launched it states the Android app will 'follow soon' If that's the case then why not wait a couple of weeks and launch both at the same time?

  • Comment number 5.

    I am fed up with the BBC giving priority to iphone users, when then are 30% more android users than iphone ones. Is the BBC being paid by Iphone for this preference?

  • Comment number 6.

    BBC I think you need to actually catch up on what's happening. Android is huge now. You should be launching both platforms together. A lot of people I know have switched to an Android device and your app release almost feels like discrimination!

  • Comment number 7.

    Oh look! An new BBC App!

    Oh look! It only works on iDevices

    Oh look iDevices only have 20% market share (but presumably 90% within the BBC)

    Poor show BBC. For an organisation who are supposed to be platform neutral 9after all that why we don`t have proper HD on Sky, just 1440x1080), there seems to be a steady and consistent bias shown towards Apple at the expense of the other platforms.

  • Comment number 8.

    All the effort of creating a BBC website for mobiles and now we have an app.
    Make your mind up BBC.
    Is there a help anywhere, the video on this page only works with flash it seems as it is not displaying, so not too good for ios users.
    Be nice to have a help somewhere its a bit daunting to use at first.

    Can the radio link go the BBC iplayer radio app rather than a website.

    Otherwise looks good, will there be an ipad version? Much prefer an app than trawling through a browser for sport.

  • Comment number 9.

    How many times does it need to be said. Stop giving priority to either platform. Release all together and you would not be facing any critism from the majoirty of users.

    Oh and it should be added that Apples market share has fallen even further according to forecasts, showing apple will have less than 15% after xmas. So if your going for the majority it should be Android first.

  • Comment number 10.

    Thanks for your comments so far.

    On the Apple v Android question. It is absolutely our plan to have quality products out on both products as soon as possible. There are three main factors we had to keep in mind when lining up releases: development, testing and launch complexity.

    As the BBC Sport app is a hybrid app, based on the new Sport mobile browser site, the platform-specific development can progress in parallel, building on the core browser site. The decision to launch the core mobile browser site first (before either app) was itself to ensure that users got a quality product across as wide a range of devices as possible. The Android-specific development is very close to completion.

    Due to the huge range of Android devices, testing for that platform is more complex and therefore takes more time.

    And finally, scheduling ‘big bang’ launches, across a range of platforms, increases risk, and we want to ensure launches are as smooth as possible for users. Back in July, when we launched the Olympics app for iPhone and Android together, we saw over three times as many downloads of the iPhone version. Android continues to grow apace but this, together with the development and testing complexity, led us to the decision to phase the iOS app first.

    Features also add complexity (and risk) to launches, which is why we’ll be adding football teams, team customisation and video in the coming weeks, across all platforms, rather than at launch.

    @ Uncle Fred - From an operating system point of view the Kindle Fire is an Android device, rather than a separate class of ‘build’, so requires relatively little additional development effort.

  • Comment number 11.

    @ luciemclean, Sadly you and your team have been mislead by the app download numbers. The reason most users don't need to download the android app is because we have full functionality of the BBC website unlike the iOS users so they do actually need it more than us Android users hence the numbers. I did download the olympic app but found the website to be much more comprehensive hence i removed it and used the website. I will do the same with sport and I'm sure most users will too.

    The only app that is truly needed from the BBC for Android users is the iPlayer app, these should be 100% release in conjunction with feature parity across platforms (this includes Windows!). When it comes to the BBC though as we are funding you you should be prepared to accept the risk and keep your major stakeholders happy if this means releasing all together so be it.

  • Comment number 12.

    Fair comment about the Android v. iPhone - but what about the content? If you want to 'build on the Olympics' success, I hope this will not be pandering to the football obsession that is already well served on many other commercial sites at the expense of others.

  • Comment number 13.

    So really it is a BBC football app. All other sports link back to the web page. There are other sports out there...

  • Comment number 14.

    Moan, moan, moan...that's all I ever hear from Android users.

    What a dull bunch you lot must be!

  • Comment number 15.

    I cannot download the app onto my iphone 4 as it requires iOS 5 - is this right please?

  • Comment number 16.

    Just a suggestion, but perhaps future investment should be put into developing good APIs for BBC Content, so even if your teams are unable to commit to other platforms, you could allow third parties access to the APIs to develop experiences. iPlayer need be the only set of apps you build yourself because of the DRM concerns.

  • Comment number 17.

    @hammersir Yes you'll need to upgrade your phone to at least iOS5 to be able to install the app.

  • Comment number 18.

    @hammersir - thanks a lot - now they'll delay the android release for a few more months while they pour all the resource into fixing a few old iphones.

    In an age when 80% of the smartphones sold today run android, it's blatant bias to always release apple first. BBC may as well run apple adverts as they do everything else in their power to promote their products.

  • Comment number 19.

    Lucy - I found this discussion after Ben Gallops blog was given a prime position on the BBC sport front page. As an android user it is irritating to find the phrase 'smartphone app' apparently doesn't apply to me. I can accept your comments on different releases but you can mitigate some of the complaints if you make sure the android release gets similar coverage.

  • Comment number 20.

    If the BBC is now only catering for the majority, presumably it'll be cancelling al its minority programmes for social minorities such as disabled people and other minority interest programmes like Sky At Night? No great viewing figures here so better dump them.
    The BBC has a brief and responsibility to support minorities because it's a public service broadcaster. It's also wrong to suppport one commercial organisation by prioritising it's products. It's not allowed to do that in it's programming so why here?
    Maybe it would like to give a discounted licence fee to non iphone users?
    Blackberry and windows users still represent a huge number of smartphone-using licence fee payers. If you're not going to support them then be honest and call this an iphone and android app - not a smartphone app.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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:-)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • Comment number 31.

  • 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?

  • 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. :-)

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • Comment number 36.

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

  • 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?

  • Comment number 38.

    I'm a touch confused. https://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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Comment number 41.

    As a Mac OS user from back in the dark days of Windows 3.2 & 95 dominance I can certainly sympathise with being in a minority software platform, and I certainly whinged about it - but I didn't go around picking irrelevant stats to build my case.

  • Comment number 42.

    Hilarious. I'm sure it suits the fandroids' agenda to frame the BBC as an elitist foil for Apple and their "affluent" customers, in order to try and rationalise the way their chosen platform is constantly treated as a second class citizen.
    There is simply no getting around the facts, however:
    1. The most expensive part of owning a mobile phone is the contract. My O2 contract for iPhone costs just the same as your O2 contract for Samsung Galaxy S3. My phone choice does not require me to be any more affluent than an Android user.
    2. There is plenty of empirical data to show that iOS users are consumers of mobile data on an order of magnitude greater than their Android counterparts. Argue the market share toss all you like, but the biggest group of people out there who actually *use* mobile sites and apps are iPhone users. Therefore developers target the platform that will make most use of their apps.
    3. Android phones are the new feature phones. Again, iPhone users tend to make actual use of their device as a smartphone. Everyone I know with an Android phone, almost without exception, uses it to make calls, send texts, and keep a couple of games on it for their kids. That's it. None of them know where the Google Marketplace is. None of them have accounts with credit card numbers to allow them to actually buy anything.
    4. Number of iPhone models developers have to test against: 2. Number of Android phone models developers have to test against: ~100
    5. The vast majority of Android users are still running a version of the OS that is now over 2 years old, because so many handset manufacturers and/or network operators fail to provide timely updates (if at all). Most iPhone users are running the latest OS their handset will support, because Apple makes it easy and they bypass the mobile networks.
    6. bbc.co.uk is one of the most visited sites in the world. They will have a *very* clear picture of who their audience is and what platform/OS they are using. Those of you trying to argue marketshare/usage numbers with people who have that kind of statistical data to hand is highly amusing. Bonus points if you're trying to say that Windows Phone is "significant". Bravo, Sir.

  • Comment number 43.

    Why should iOS users have to wait while their app is delayed in order to launch alongside the Android version? Sorry but if iOS is easier to support and if its finished first, why not launch it?

    And just because more Android devices are sold doesn't mean they're used to their full extent by their owners. A vocal minority of Android owners use their devices to their full potential, but the majority of Android phones seem to be sold to people who used to buy cheap Nokias and the the most they'll do outside of phone calls and text messaging is a bit of Facebook.

  • Comment number 44.

    The sense of entitlement here is pretty scary. Why is everyone so angry about something that is gracefully handed to you with such care, for free?

  • Comment number 45.

    By all means, update us on the uptake and usage of the app across all platforms. The moral posturing that the BBC is discriminating against non-iOS customers or that one of the largest and longest-operating broadcasters in the world is clueless about audience measurement or marketshare is hilarious.

  • Comment number 46.

    Reply to Campo - you say "so why do the minority of more affluent Apple-owners get the app before the more majority of financially-accessible Android-owners?" You answered your own question with the statement before; "as a publicly-funded organisation we have to prioritise the areas where we can reach the most users".

    The most users are on iPhone, not Android. I don't care how many claimed Android registrations there are, fact is none of the service providers can find them.

    You had to throw in "affluent Apple-owners" like that's a bitter pill. Your contract costs as much as mine.

  • Comment number 47.

    I don't get all the Android whining. As a developer I can fully understand why the iPhone version is out first. Far fewer OS versions and hardware types to test on. (_ewan_ is *really* stretching the truth to try to imply iOS is as fragmented.) Android has such a huge number of screen sizes, aspect-ratios, and resolutions .. plus many many machines on older OS's .. and I'd hate to think how the different hardware manufacturers (some tweaking the OS, some not) gives rise to quirks and performance issues.

    The official response makes it sound like the iOS and Android development has been happening in parallel anyway. So why all the complaints about bias? They're not realeasing for iOS, then *starting* on Android development as so many other companies do. And due to the earlier iOS release (and subsequent bug-fixes) the Android release will likely be less-buggy, right?

    If you want to complain about being treated like a second-class platform, the find a developer who's actually treating you that way. This one isn't.

  • Comment number 48.

    I'm greatly amused by the Android owners who think that because it takes longer to develop apps for the platform they use, the BBC should delay an iOS version when it's ready to make things "fair" for them.

    Developing and testing for Android takes longer thanks largely to the huge range of devices. Android owners get the advantage of choosing from multiple models – but they price they pay for that is slower development compared to iOS. You pays your money and takes your choice - but please don't expect developers to "wait or it's not fair!"

  • Comment number 49.

    You'll probably find that this new app will have more iPhone than Android users too. This is because your press release gathering all the media attention about the newly developed smartphone app is only available for iPhone users. All the Android users reading it that could have downloaded now currently can't. Once the Android version is released, there will not be the same amount of news coverage about it, and the buzz and excitement of the initial release will have been lost as people wait.

  • Comment number 50.

    Android users need to stop whinging so much and get over the fact that it is they who are the minority web users in the smartphone world. Web stat report after web stat report consistently shows that iOS devices are *used* for browsing by a factor of 5 to 10 more visitors than Android. I can testify to this on our own website with millions of visits per year, where iOS represents 75%+ of the traffic. This, despite the smaller market share of iOS. The fact of the matter is that a substantial number of Android owners just don't use them as smartphones, probably because they had them foisted on them as an 'upgrade' to a dumbphone and probably because they don't have the data packages necessary to do so.

  • Comment number 51.

    Quick question: Are you planning a vidiprinter for the mobile version? Also automatically refreshing live text commentaries?

  • Comment number 52.

    My word, I'd no idea that Fandroids were such a bunch of crybabies.

  • Comment number 53.

    Many of the Android devices being counted are the cheapest Symbian replacement phones in India and the Pacific Rim, a market that has no bearing on what happens for the BBC and probably devices that aren't even capable of what the higher class iPhone/Nexus devices can do. They have year old hardware and two year old OSs. They're crap, in other words.

    Second, Androids are in the hands of people who care nothing about looking at the BBC or anything much beyond talking on the phone. Who cares about them? While the "market share" of Android appears to be rising, the relevance of it doesn't follow. Google is advertising nearly a million Android activations per day. Where are they? I'm not seeing it and neither are the people following relevant web stats.

  • Comment number 54.

    To all those wondering why an iOS app was released before an Android app: I suspect it has something to do with the relative popularities of the two platforms vis-a-vis web browsing and such. If the BBC's server logs showed more Android users than iOS users I'm sure the Android app would have been a higher priority. I'm willing to wager that they don't.

  • Comment number 55.

    I've read through this thread, and the further down I go, the more dismayed I become at some of the comments. Software development is not easy, I'm sure the teams behind the development of these apps are working flat out to bring them to market. Version 1.0 is always going to have room for improvement so cool your jets people, in a few months time, the app will have matured a bit and will probably be very different to it's first inception.

    As for the Android vs Apple debate... Wow. "20% market share" this, and "discrimination" that. What's that got to do with anything? Spend your money on the platform you want and live and let live. The Apple vs Someone Else arguments really have to stop, aren't there better topics available for discussion?

    From a logistics point of view, it's quicker to bring an iOS app to a stable release version than it is for Android because of the vast difference in the lengths of test cycles for both platforms. That's the price that Android users pay for living outside a walled garden environment. It is what it is, so just be patient and if you can't be patient and absolutely must have that new app as soon as you've heard about it, then consider investing in a mobile platform that's easier to develop for. For Pete's sake.... Just be patient.

  • Comment number 56.

    Without wanting to get into a playground argument about whose smartphone OS is best*, given the BBC's inclination (rightly so, given that we all fund the organization) to cater for the broadcasting requirements of all manner of minority, including, I notice, Gaelic language speakers, then I see absolutely no reason why this could not have been released simultaneously on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry and possibly even Symbian and WebOS too.

    On a related topic, just what exactly does this offer that the mobile website doesn't? Or is it yet another example of a separate app for the sake of it?

    (* It's Windows Phone 8, by the way.)

  • Comment number 57.

    @55 sorry the argument put does not stand up. It is not the job of the taxpayer funded BBC to give Apple products primacy against a majority of mobile users. Living outside of the 'walled garden' you describe is in the real world creating a competitive market - Apple hates competition as it affects their ability to levy extraordinarily high monopoly charges on consumers for apps and other services.

    It is entirely up to Apple if they want to take this path, but not for BBC actions to help them achieve this.

    'Stable release versions' and 'test cycles' might make useful sound bites but they are irrelevant to the point that once again the BBC favours Apple and its products by launching an app only available on Apple phones.

  • Comment number 58.

    Yet again the argument that Android is developed second because of fragmentation begs the question why Windows Phone is not considered at all when WP8, with only a single variant, is as easy (if not easier) to build for as IOS.

    As for market share, by favouring particular platforms BBC are actually affecting the market e.g. who wants a phone that doesn't have the most popular apps?

    Lastly, for such as relatively simple app why are BBC not leading the field with platform agnostic HTML5?

  • Comment number 59.

    @57 cleanlang
    But it *is* the job of the BBC to spend those same taxpayers' money on every platform known to man, just so they can avoid your childish and specious accusations of bias? Grow up.

  • Comment number 60.

    The app looks very nice and functional indeed. But I don't use an iOS device. So it would be nice if developed an app for Windows Phone and Windows 8. I know you have limited budget, and need to prioritize, but BBC is not like other organizations whose only objective is to make money. Support for minority platforms like Windows Phone will be a nice touch in accordance with BBC's overall policy.

  • Comment number 61.

    Good job. When would the app become available for other regions? I'm sure BBC's coverage is not just in the UK.

  • Comment number 62.

    I have a Android tablet, Nexus 7, and hope you never release an Android app. These whiny jokers do not deserve it. I apologise for their disgraceful manners. They are making Android fans look worse than Apple fans.

  • Comment number 63.

    @ Michael There's an international version coming in the next few weeks.

  • Comment number 64.

    BBC yet again going after the Apple users. I would have no problems with this decision if BBC can justify it by publishing figures for the numbers of people accessing its services from iOS vs Android. I am pretty user Android users will at least be double of iOS if not more. But of course transparency is not BBC's strong point (as we have seen in numerous other cases going on).

  • Comment number 65.

    @Robinho02 We're keen to hear what features people would like us to add to the app. Videprinter and auto-refresh are really good examples and they'll be on the list for consideration when we prioritise what we're going to build in future updates.

    @wicked games You'll find relevant stats about downloads of the Olympics app in my response appearing as comment 10.

  • Comment number 66.

    Lucie - The vidiprinter especially would be awesome when at the football on a Saturday afternoon, at half time and full time. One thing I noticed this Saturday was the mobile site at half time was much, much faster loading than I've ever seen before. Don't know if that's something you've done or just better 3G signal but it was great, despite over 9,000 in the ground.

  • Comment number 67.

    wicked games - according to any Google lookup (which would certainly show Android in the most favorable light), Android is indeed selling more devices but at this time, any two Android devices create less web traffic than a single iOS device. That's not the device's fault, it speaks to the collective users' web habits. Most Android users traded in their dumb phones for whatever was being sold and couldn't give a hoot about web access. If you didn't do that, you're in the minority.

  • Comment number 68.

    The BBC, like a lot of other media outlets, is truly madly deeply in love with Apple and its hugely upsetting, they are encouraging users to pour money into one of the most unethical companies in IT!

    Android is the biggest and should have been first but why no mention of Windows phone! if the BBC will only support either the coolest or most popular then how are other platforms ever going to get a foot hold? its unfair & the BBC should be ashamed of itself!

  • Comment number 69.

    Whilst I acknowledge that there are more hurdles when developing for Android (even considering the myth that iOS is a one device OS), I think you might find that the reason that the BBC sees less downloads from Android than iOS is that the majority of Android apps you release are second class and not worth downloading.

  • Comment number 70.

    Geoff - thanks for the great laugh begging for Windows Phone inclusion while calling Apple unethical. You've already forgotten what Microsoft is capable of or perhaps never knew.

    In fact, you're apparently not aware of what Google is capable of. Their entire business model relies on the erosion of your privacy. They can and do sell data concerning your location, your browsing habits, the location of who you are near, what your emails say and anything else they wish to sell to advertisers. They even make most of that available to any developer, nefarious or not. Apple rejected demands from Google for access to that information in exchange for the continued use of Google Maps shipped with iOS. Apple also rejected access to private user data from book publishers in order to protect their users. How unethical of them to withhold your private information from ravenous marketers.

    Besides, BBC is following the actual user base (iOS) and not your favorite things (anything but Apple).

  • Comment number 71.

    Divebus, I've been a developer for 20+ years and am well aware of how unethical Microsoft have and can be, in recent years they have produced some real junk and had completely lost the plot with mobile OS's, that said I do think that Windows Phone is very very good, it does have a long way to go to catch up the iOS and Android user base though and the quality of the apps available is currently pretty poor.

    You have missed my point though and are doing what all Apple fan boys do & the opposite of what you accuse me of, you cannot take anything that criticises Apple.

    All I am trying to do is to pose the question as to whether the BBC, as a publically funded body, should favour one over another especially one that produces (in my opinion at least) overpriced, over hyped and unethically produced products, it should be a level playing field.

    Tis just my opinion that’s all.

  • Comment number 72.

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

  • Comment number 73.

    @71 Geoff
    Care to provide some actual evidence that Apple's products are overpriced and unethically produced? (or, at least, *more* overpriced and *less* ethically produced than any other electronics manufacturer) I'll leave the hype question aside, because that's purely subjective. There's good evidence that Apple is leading the way in improving the working conditions for people in its supply chain. They were the first, and still the only, consumer electronics company in the Fair Labour Association, for example (I tried posting a link, the moderators removed it for some reason - Google it). When Samsung or HTC or anyone else is doing the number of audits and publishing the level of detailed reports that Apple is, then maybe you can come back and legitimately bitch about their ethics.

    You keep making fatuous accusations of bias and bleating on about what a publicly funded body should do, without ever trying to see things from the view of that same publicly funded body. The BBC has finite resources, and so has to respond to who their users actually are, rather than who you might wish them to be in some alternate bizarro universe. These apps cost a lot of to produce, and if the BBC was spending huge amounts of money on apps that only a relatively tiny number of users were ever going to use, they would get roundly criticised for it, and rightly so.

    Once again: this is *not* about market share, this is about usage levels. 3 x more iPhone users download the apps than Android users. I doubt WinPhone even moves the needle. These are the facts.

  • Comment number 74.

    For anyone concerned, BBC News published an interview with the BBC's head of iPlayer about the supposed "disparity" between iOS and Android.


  • Comment number 75.

    @cleanlang .."Apple hates competition as it affects their ability to levy extraordinarily high monopoly charges on consumers for apps and other services." Huh? What high charges are there for apps? When the Apps Store first debuted, Apple sent a very clear message through the first apps publicly demoed that $5 and $10 was going to be what these things should cost. Not $50 or more, as traditionally was the case with software. ..and within a year most apps were $1. One freaking dollar. Yeah, my wallets really hurting from that.

    And they weren't letting the carriers hold back OS updates, so my phone was getting updated for two and a half *years*. For *free*. (How many Android users get that without knowing how to root?) ..Then iMessage came out, allowing us to bypass the exorbitant carrier SMS charges. Yeah, I'm super-poor now.

    My Nokia, that I had before the iPhone, had an *expensive* USB cable that allowed me to get at txt-messages and my contacts-list via super-crappy software (and serial-to-usb bridge drivers. ugh.) .. installed from *two* CD's (one specific to the cable, one specific to the phone) .. all other data had to go via the carrier and their crazy prices. I just left most of my photos on the Nokia. ..With my iPhone I could get everything off the iPhone, have it backed-up on my PC .. download via my PC and push data to the phone .. Vodafone didn't get an extra cent from me.

    And when tethering came out, I got it on Vodafone NZ right away. No extra cost. If anyone was overcharging anyone it was the carriers .. when they finally offered it. (Yes, I'm looking at you AT&T)

    And these days I just run off a prepay SIM. Most data pulled-down through wi-fi at no extra cost to me, and some 3G data if I need it. Still the same iPhone 3G. Still with strong battery-life. Still runs beautifully, if a bit slow compared to todays phones. (Home-button is a little twitchy, but I can live with that.)

    I'd be happy to criticize Apple if I was overcharged anywhere. Maybe I missed it.

  • Comment number 76.

    Geoff - Apple is making a lot of things I don't want anymore. Working in the television industry, I've seen them screw up one thing after another, sabotaging their own lead in so many places. I can absolutely take criticism of Apple as I'm one of their vocal plaintiffs.

    That said, I also can't allow sweeping criticisms which aren't true. The factories which make Apple products are the same ones making Android products, so that criticism rings hollow. Apple is more proactive about repairing poor working situations at vendors than most anyone else. It's more likely that your Android phone was made under worse conditions than anything made by Apple.

    I'm glad to see you've added the "opinion" modifier to your distaste for Apple products. I wouldn't mind if they were cheaper myself, but I've seen many Apple computers outlast several PCs. Apple doesn't cater to people who accept junkyard class equipment, so they try not to ship things of that description.

    There are many copycat products masquerading as crudely inferior shadows of Apple products claiming to be the same thing. Android was one of them but that's gotten much better (if you leave out the gaping personal data collection going on). Apple hardware is built like a big Swiss watch while most of the counterfeit knockoffs or competitive PCs are cheap, creaky plastic or look like scrap metal. There's a cost associated with that but many people have an appreciation for it. I'd still want Apple products to cost less but I'd have to be willing to throw away some core quality expectations with the alternatives

    In the case of BBC, they're just looking at where the most traffic goes and are building applications to satisfy the traffic demand. Why build for the minority of actual users before the majority? Market share apparently has little impact on who is actually coming to the BBC site, so their decisions on priorities are valid. It's not about favoritism, it's about what's possible to do and Android is still a bit of a dung heap.

  • Comment number 77.

    "In the case of BBC, they're just looking at where the most traffic goes and are building applications to satisfy the traffic demand. Why build for the minority of actual users before the majority?"

    It's been the BBC's job to do that since they first started transmitting radio signals when virtually no-one had a radio. Besides which, the BBC have been strongly favouring iOS for a long time; it's hardly a shock that iOS users are more enthusiastic about using the results. I have a good few Android devices and none of them have (for example) the iPlayer app on them, because the Android iPlayer is crap.

  • Comment number 78.


    Many thanks for commenting. Please do remember to keep your points on topic though. This is a post about the new BBC Sport App and not a general discussion on the merits and/or ethics of Apple etc.


    Eliza Kessler
    Content producer
    BBC Internet blog

  • Comment number 79.

    > When it comes to the BBC though as we are funding you you should be prepared to accept the risk and keep your major stakeholders happy if this means releasing all together so be it.

    So what you're proposing is to take whatever time is required to test a few iOS devices, and rush the myriad of Android devices through testing in the same amount of time resulting in each individual Android device only getting a fraction of the time required for proper testing.

    So you wouldn't complain at all if Android versions were found to contain showstopper bugs as a result? You wouldn't come here posting "Oh typical BBC releasing bug-free iOS versions and bug-ridden Android versions"?

    Releasing on iOS first has nothing to do with any kind of preference towards Apple devices, any kind of contempt towards Android devices, any kind of conspiracy or any of the other weird and wonderful suggestions that have been put forward. It's just common sense: testing more devices takes longer than testing fewer devices.

  • Comment number 80.

    It's been released on iOS first because Android is an inferior OS and cannot handle the technology needed.

  • Comment number 81.

    I just want to use the "smartphone App" on my smart phone. As a "cheap" android user as some would put me, I use apps much more than browsers and am more than happy to pay for them to get a premium/ad free experience.
    The BBC just like other providers like Sky make IOS apps but as a public service provider should put the effort required to release on all current devices that are capable to run it. If IOS is easier to develop take half of the developers off it and get them to sort out the other platforms
    It is not a smartphone app yet!
    If more testing is needed for android due to the number of devices there is a very simple solution. more people to test it?
    To give sky a bit of recognition they at least they tend to release things like skygo to a limited number of the biggest selling andriod devices first. less to test, easier to develop. So why not S2,3, note,2, nexus, HTC1X, desire, experia

    Oh and no one has mentioned the BBC radio app for android which was coming in a few weeks. It has now been several months and still no clue of when it will arrive. so can we believe this will be here in a few weeks?

  • Comment number 82.

    I think BBC should focus on catering more for open source based platforms than supporting the likes of Apple and IOS. Developing stuff first for proprietary platforms only strengthens their position in the market and kills off technology that would otherwise be accessible by all.

    Also, if one looks at topics like technology convergence and its impact on citizen reporting, it just makes more sense for BBC to focus on platforms that are open source in my opinion - ubiquity of devices is key for much of the future innovation in terms of mobile "broadcasting" - for sports or otherwise.

  • Comment number 83.

    When you have finished developing the android app will you port either that or the iphone app to BlackBerry 10? It doesn't take long and won't cost the licence payer a penny, that's right BBC. Nothing.
    Please stop ignoring users of other platforms, platforms they use by choice, not because everyone else at the BBC has one.

  • Comment number 84.

    Come on, what about us Blackberry users? Why should we be left in the dark because we don't want to be iMugs?

  • Comment number 85.

    more poor decision making by the bbc......

  • Comment number 86.

    BBC Sport app for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 would be great.

  • Comment number 87.

    How come the iPhone App is only available from Apple's UK App store? Why not make it available in the Ireland app store too? Surely there is no overhead in simultaneously publishing the app in both app stores?

  • Comment number 88.

    Expect its startup niggles for this app, but had some problems Saturday during the live football scores.
    The live football tables were also not refreshing and the live football premier updates were stalling from 3pm onwards.
    Had a steady WiFi link, so was not that.
    The bbc web pages were updating fine.

    Notice quite a lot of the cricket pages/links are in old format, hope they get updated soon.

    Otherwise this works well on ios.

  • Comment number 89.

    Great to see this....but please start focus on Windows 8. As there will be a huge consumer base for tine very soon. For Player, and future apps.

  • Comment number 90.

    Will you be developing a 'my team' feature? To make best use of 3G time I want to go straight to what I want to news of my team and not have to sift through a multitude of menus. At the moment the Sky sports app still looks more useful.

  • Comment number 91.

    Guys this is very old school - I was developing better apps than this a year ago in the Philippines. Where are all the social elements (Twitter integration, chatting with friends about a game, fantasy leagues etc), and no video seems to be a huge omission. I am back in the UK now - feel free to contact me for assistance :-)

  • Comment number 92.

    Thanks BBC for making an App just for iPhone users. You do know there are other smartphones on the market don't you?

  • Comment number 93.

    And after the Android release a WindowsPhone release .... I hope !

  • Comment number 94.

    interesting but this functionality has been available from EPSN for at least two years. Having worked in the mobile industry since mid 90s this looks to be nothing more than a tick box app rather than adding any novel or innovative technology

  • Comment number 95.

    BBC are just following the lemmings by releasing iPhone first and cutting development time going the webby/HTML5 hybrid route. Do they have right people running the show there with the right experience? This app should have been native from the start. Android have more devices out there by far than Apple. I expected more from the BBC and this does nothing to push the technology forward. What next a Blackberry or Symbian version:)

  • Comment number 96.

    Poor show that Android is left til last again despite it having a 70%+ market share these days. BBC living in the past again.

  • Comment number 97.

    The app for iPhone doesn't seem to work in New Zealand - is this intentional? It seems strange, as the BBC News app works fine.

  • Comment number 98.

    What about the App for Android users ???? Isn't the Samsung Galaxy S3 one of the biggest selling smartphones of all time.. Yet it can't use the new sports App, Shocking !!

  • Comment number 99.

    Why is there TV advertising that the "BBC Sport App" is now available when it's only available for the iphone? This should be made clear in the advertising.

  • Comment number 100.

    Looks like the initial problems with this app have been overcome, it worked well this Saturday with all the football live updates. Good work!
    The last few Saturdays it was failing badly. Still a lot of older content for cricket and rugby on there that takes you away from the app, hope they move over soon.
    One thing, can the live content not be refreshed automatically, its a pain having to hit the green refresh button constantly.


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