New BBC News app starts to roll out in the UK
Executive Product Manager
I’m pleased to announce that we have started rolling out a new version of the BBC News App across the UK.
The new app allows you to personalise it with the news that interests you. We have worked on this new proposition for a few months and hope that you will find the improvements useful.
Top stories in the new BBC News app
So what is new?
Keeping our audience at heart of the proposition allowed us to deliver a truly personalised experience. This is no longer about choosing between local, national or global news. This is now all about your news. We are inviting you to “follow” your favourite topics and create your own, customised view of BBC News.
There will still be a front page of top stories reflecting what BBC News sees as the most important and most interesting stories of the moment.
In addition, you can easily find and follow the stories you are interested in by adding topics to a MyNews section from different levels of the application – stories, collections of articles, from a static list in a menu or by searching for what is of interest for you at that particular point of time. Each story “belongs” to one or more topics. They are indicated as tags associated with each story and in related topics at the bottom of each story.
Related topics box on the BBC News app
Simply tap on a tag and a collection of stories associated with that tag will be displayed – you can then choose to follow that collection (topic) by tapping on the plus sign at the top of the screen.
You will notice that all new topics are added in the top navigation bar, so you can access them there straight away. The most recently published stories from each topic, you have chosen to follow, are also available on the MyNews tab.
The "by topic" tab in the BBC News app
The "by time" tab in the BBC News app
You can read more about the editorial perspective on the new app in this blog post by Editor of BBC News Online Steve Herrmann.
What else have we changed?
You can find the most popular BBC content in the Most Watched and Most Read tabs. We have enriched the “live” experience, you can not only access the BBC News live channel, you can also follow the latest news in the live pages.
The amount of content available via the BBC News app has greatly increased, with thousands of topics allowing you to track many more stories from across International, National and Local News, through Technology, Sport, Arts and Entertainment to major current developing stories of the moment.
Using ‘The Cloud’
But it’s not only the publicly visible front end of the app which has undergone big changes. Behind the scenes, a big piece of the project was to move the service onto cloud infrastructure. We are proud to be amongst the first of the BBC News products to be built in that environment.
The new version of the app, version 3, is available on Android (versions above 4.0), iOS (versions above 7.0) and in the next few days will also be available on Amazon. You can download it from the app stores or, if you are an existing BBC News App user, you can simply update your current app by going to the list of updates available for your device. If you still cannot see the updated version, don’t worry, it will become available for everyone over the next few days, as we are doing a staged release to ensure that we eliminate any bugs along the way.
The app was thoroughly tested with a beta trial to a limited number of about 2,000 users in December and we have monitored usage, behaviour and bugs since then. The feedback we have collected has encouraged us to proceed with the full launch of the new version of the app. Thank you to all our beta users, you’ve been a great help.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the people involved in this project. It was hard work and a great team effort.
I hope you like the new version of BBC News App and find it intuitive and easy to use. We’re keen to hear your feedback so please do share your comments with me and the team by commenting on this post, or alternatively contact us at email@example.com.
Karolina Iwaszko is Executive Product Manager, BBC Future Media