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New BBC iPlayer comes to Windows Phones 8

Navin Nair

Business Analyst

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Hi, I’m Navin Nair, a Business Analyst in the BBC iPlayer team.

Almost exactly a year ago, we brought BBC iPlayer to Windows Phone 8 devices for the first time. Today I’m pleased to announce a major update to the app bringing the benefits of the new BBC iPlayer to Windows Phone 8 devices, making it easier to catch up on your favourite programmes as well as discover new content.

You can read more about the new BBC iPlayer here, but in this post I’m going to focus on the features which are making their debut on Windows Phone 8. First, we’ve overhauled the viewing experience, switching to an adaptive bitrate media player. This means those of you with poorer internet connections will still be able to watch content while those with faster connections will get the best playback quality available. You can also watch programmes with subtitles, delivering on the BBC’s commitment to accessible content for all. But wait, there’s more! We’ve also added live TV, so you can keep up with any BBC channel on the go.

Home page, channel page and category page

As well as new features, we’ve put a lot of effort into improving the general app experience. This update is far more stable and is expected to work with a wider range of Windows Phones. We know this was one of the main gripes with the original app and we’re keen to do more for a steadily growing user base. We would love to add features like downloads once the market share increases to the point we can justify the additional development and infrastructure costs.

Once you update the app, you will notice that Radio content is no longer available. This was a difficult decision, but it allows us to focus on offering the best TV viewing experience in iPlayer. I do appreciate that this leaves some without a way to enjoy radio content but we really believe that the experience of the new BBC iPlayer is a huge leap forward and worth taking now. The iPlayer Radio team are currently working on a similar app with an optimised listening experience so stay tuned for more news on this.

The updated app is available now via the Windows Phone Store; I encourage you to download it and try out the new BBC iPlayer experience for Windows Phone 8. We’re keen to hear what you think: rate the app, leave comments or complete the online survey. We’re always looking to improve the product and keep bringing you the best viewing experience we can. I hope you enjoy using the new app!

Navin Nair is Business Analyst, BBC iPlayer in BBC Future Media

Update 8th July 2014. The BBCiPlayer Radio app is now available for Windows 8 phones. Please read Daniel Bean's post for more details. Thanks.

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