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Comment posted by Marion, at 21:04 5 Mar 2013
21:04 5 Mar 2013
So you've chosen to disenfranchise users with older BacBerrys. This despite the fact that BBC iplayer worked well on these models. Your explanation leaves me cold and extremely cross. I doubt I am alone in feeling this. As a license fee payer, I see no reason for the BBC to behave towards me in such ahigh-handed manner.
Comment posted by Eponymous Cowherd, at 18:46 5 Mar 2013
18:46 5 Mar 2013
@5 Alan Phillips:-
Nor does it bear out the article promising more "transparency" on the Internet Blog. More of the same "keep 'em in the dark and feed 'em on you-know-what"
Comment posted by Alan Phillips, at 17:52 5 Mar 2013
17:52 5 Mar 2013
This is a really surprising blog entry indeed.
If you look at the comments in Google Playstore, you'll see from the 6200 and rising one-star reviews that the Feb 14 update to iPlayer broke many, many devices completely. Typically, as for me on a Nexus 7, the app force closes as soon as the 'play' button is tapped.
The app was working before; the update broke it utterly.
But you don't mention this at all! I'd getbthe impression from your post that everything is wonderful and all is going to plan. Not a mention that now the app doesn't actually work and has all the marks of having shipped with minimal testing.
You've not acknowledged any comments in the Google Playstore, either.
None of this bears out your blog entry at the end of last year about significantly improving Android support, I fear.
I think many, many people would like to hear when the Feb 14 issues are going to fixed, in preference to promises of future goodies. I'd felt you were making excellent progress in the update before that, but now I don't think you have any adequate QA in place.
Comment posted by ShaolinMonkfish, at 10:42 5 Mar 2013
10:42 5 Mar 2013
Here's my thought. Still no Android downloads.
Comment posted by Greebler, at 03:01 8 Mar 2013
03:01 8 Mar 2013
Please support the Nexus 10 - and stop pretending that everyone uses Apple.
Comment posted by Eponymous Cowherd, at 22:40 7 Mar 2013
22:40 7 Mar 2013
@20 Dave Price,
We keep hearing that "Android remains a key priority", but the evidence really doesn't bear this out. In over two years we haven't seen a reliable Android iPlayer from the BBC, the interval between releases is excessive (the first update wasn't for about a year, and the latest was 5 months since the previous) and when we do get a release it is as likely to be a retrograde step as an improvement (as with the last release).
And then there is the quality of support and feedback from the BBC. The Feb 2013 release obviously had some serious issues. Most developers on Google Play would have rapidly posted an update along with an apology, but not the BBC. From the BBC we get the usual Wall of Silence. No acknowledgement of the problem, no fix, no indication of when a fix may be forthcoming.
You say "We have more releases planned to FURTHER IMPROVE playback on the most popular Android devices", which totally fails to recognise that the last release release was a major step in the wrong direction. I honestly envisage all of the people working on Android iPlayer sitting around with their fingers in their ears going "la, la, la, not lis-ten-ing".
For pity's sake. If you make a bad release, say "sorry, our bad", roll it back, publish an explanation. People RESPECT that, it says you care about the product and your customers.
Leaving the bad code in place and the "Wall of Silence" shouts nothing but contempt for your users.
Comment posted by Eponymous Cowherd, at 09:46 7 Mar 2013
09:46 7 Mar 2013
But IOS isn't the most popular platform, Android is, and by quite a margin. I quite agree that publishing an open API would be a better solution, and is what I would expect from a publicly funded organisation like the BBC, but until the "rights holders" of the programmes get over their absurd fixation on trying to "protect" content that has already be made available unencrypted, the the current ridiculous situation will persist.
Comment posted by U5655459, at 11:25 6 Mar 2013
11:25 6 Mar 2013
Quite so. The BBC can't just pick & choose between proprietary systems on the basis of perceived 'cool'.
Factually Android devices are much more popular than iOS ones, yet Android is still the poor relation. I'd like to know what, if any, rationale actually applies to the decision to develop, or not to develop a proper (or at least properly working) "App" for any given platform.
As a Windows Phone & Windows8 user I'm eagerly anticipating the arrival of a proper native "App" for both of these platforms instead of the rubbishy kludge we have to endure at present. Perhaps you need to re-evaluate your much-vaunted partnership with Adobe?
Comment posted by DavieHooks, at 11:18 6 Mar 2013
11:18 6 Mar 2013
Great news on the BBC iPlayer for Windows Phone but no mention of Windows RT. I realise that iOS is a simpler platform to develop for as there are limited devices but with the iPhone 3, 3G, 4, 4S and 5 as well as iPad 2, 3, 3.5 etc all having different resolutions and processors it must be just as difficult to test for them as it would be for the 5 or 6 Windows Phone 8 handsets?
I think the BBC, like Sky, concentrate on the Apple platform because it is easier to deal with and has a large market share and for Sky that is fine and dandy, but not for the BBC. You are a publiclly funded enterprise and answer to the license fee payers i.e., me. I and several million other Windows Phone 8 users would like a native application with the same functionality as the iOS app and I would have thought that Microsoft's closed ecosystem would help with that.
Great start in getting us access to the website though, hopefully as you see the stats of which users are accessing the services this will improve the chances of a native app.
As for excuses for Android, surely you just develop for whatever version of Android is available and pick a set resolution - if
Comment posted by Stretch, at 20:58 5 Mar 2013
20:58 5 Mar 2013
Android downloads? A distant dream. Feature parity? I'd settle for a single feature.
I have owned 3 different Android devices running every single version right up to the very latest just downloaded. 17 total combinations of device and version if you count each time I've updated. Number of combinations that have been supported by your "app": None. Zero. Zip. Bupkiss. And its not like these are obscure devices made by random companies. Two have Google in big letters printed on them.
On my phones this does not bother me so much. But my Sony Tablet S? Why not support it? I can use the website well enough. I can use FilmOn and watch all UK channels from anywhere in the world. I can use TuneIn for all the radio channels on the planet and even listen to this week's Radio 4 comedy on demand.
I don't care about an update for feature parity. I want:
- a ondemand radio app that works with the screen off
- a ondemand tv app that just supports my devices.
That's it. Just that. Just turn all combinations on and let us deal with what works, ok?
Comment posted by Mr P, at 13:53 5 Mar 2013
13:53 5 Mar 2013
An update on Android downloads would be appreciated please. This seems to have been progressively demoted from 'soon' (when the functionality was released for the iPhone), to 'early 2013', to 'some months away', to 'we are working hard to determine when this can be included'.
Comment posted by Alex, at 11:33 5 Mar 2013
11:33 5 Mar 2013
Since either the last update to Chrome for Android or the last update to the BBC Media Player app, I can no longer use iPlayer via the mobile website - it keeps prompting me to install the media player app, even though I have it installed. Please fix this, or even better, update to iPlayer android app to properly support large screen tablets like the Nexus 10, which seems sensible since you talk about the growth in tablet usage in this blog!
Comment posted by Eponymous Cowherd, at 11:27 5 Mar 2013
11:27 5 Mar 2013
Yet another post crowing about how great iPlayer on mobile devices is. Do you people not look at the ratings and reviews on Google Play?
Comment posted by U4420332, at 14:31 9 Mar 2013
14:31 9 Mar 2013
I don't wish too be too insulting, but you seem rather incompetent regarding platform agnostic content distribution. There is no need for you to develop apps yourself, this can be left to third parties. All you need to do is provide the backbone for streaming and downloading (and related DRM), and then provide third parties with an SDK should people wish to use an app (though a website and a built in media players should be good enough).
It's not as if the technology isn't there to allow this. Even if it doesn't work perfectly, isn't that what you pay technicians/programmers to work on correcting?
Comment posted by 1a20de8864e07b311fc53e49d40e8529, at 16:47 8 Mar 2013
16:47 8 Mar 2013
Like 18. James, I have a Nokia 808 (only released last Summer but purchased less than a month ago). I have always used iplayer on Nokia 5800, Nokia N8 and my current handset.
I do own an ipad but usually keep that at home.
Just wondering if iplayer is being removed totally from these Nokias (assuming this is for the whole Symbian platform) or the mobile page left as is with downloading programmes available?
Comment posted by Dave Price, at 11:40 7 Mar 2013
11:40 7 Mar 2013
Eponymous Cowherd # 2 & and Alan Phillips # 5. Android remains a key priority for the iPlayer team. I can assure you we maintain a close eye on the Google Play reviews, and the 1 star reviews certainly don't go unnoticed. We have more releases planned to further improve playback on the most popular Android devices, and as previously mentioned on this blog we are working hard to introduce mobile downloads functionality.
Alex #3. Thanks for your feedback, we are currently investigating.
Marion # 8. BBC iPlayer did indeed work well on these devices, however, the service was based on a legacy technology and used by small (and rapidly declining) number of people. Unfortunately, it was necessary for the team to withdraw the service on these devices as the underlying technology was in need of further investment, sadly given the low usage this couldn't be justified.
lettice # 10. The initial removal of the volume feature was driven by audiences telling us that the setting was superfluous given the presence of hardware volume buttons but we will consider this in future releases.
Grantijj # 11. Unfortunately we don't release channel viewing figures. I can confirm we witness strong performance across CBBC and Cbeebies programmes in iPlayer, not least during January The Dumping Ground was a standout hit.
Comment posted by Eponymous Cowherd, at 11:26 7 Mar 2013
11:26 7 Mar 2013
I see that the rating for iPlayer on Google Play has dropped from 2.9/5 to 2.8/5 since the Feb update. This update clearly broke iPlayer on many devices (mine included). Is there any chance of an explanation?
And how do you justify making a blog post about iPlayer mobile without mentioning this? Surely you must know there is a serious problem? When will it be addressed?
Comment posted by James Morgan, at 11:18 7 Mar 2013
11:18 7 Mar 2013
I note that streaming has been removed for phones like the Nokia 808 but downloads (which I use daily on the train) are still currently live. Will downloads continue or have they just not been decommissioned yet?
Comment posted by toffeetaffy, at 22:51 6 Mar 2013
22:51 6 Mar 2013
I have a BlackBerry PlayBook and Z10 which I am extremely pleased that BBC IPlayer was supported from launch as it is the most commonly used app in my household.
I am surprised that you have withdrawn support for some of the older bb devices as these are not that old... In fact they were the higher end BlackBerry's until just over a month ago.
I also hope that your devs look to build a native app for BB10 with additional features. I get frustrated with the perceived degree of apple loving, particularly from an organisation that is part funded by the public.
I understand the need to appeal to the largest audience first by launching new functionality on the most popular platform, but then resources need to be diverted to releases on the other platforms before additional features are rolled out again.... Or just make the IPlayer API open source so 3rd party developers can fill in the gaps where the BBC is failing.
Comment posted by DavieHooks, at 11:28 6 Mar 2013
11:28 6 Mar 2013
@Stretch - I'm afraid you have just buried your own argument and shown exactly why the BBC hasn't bothered. The BBC won't feel comfortable with a below par viewing experience for users. They would prefer you to have no access rather that being able to access the service and have choppy playback, sound issues or resolution problems. If companies like HTC and Samsung didn't insist on sticking their own overlays on top of native Android it might help but as I mentioned above, testing for iOS requires about 8 devices, Windows Phone 8 would be about 6 and Android about 345. Who is running Jelly Bean and who has Ice Cream Sandwich? Is someone else still on Gingerbread? What about HTC Sense, does that interfere? What about the processor, the S4 works fine, does the S3 handle playback, how about devices with only 512 MB of RAM vs those with 1GB etc etc etc. As much as I agree with you and it would be better to just allow everything and let users decide that would be against the brand image. Trying to test on all the available handsets and configurations just isn't possible.
Windows Phone 8 is closer to iOS in that Microsoft define minimum standards that their OS will run on and hence developing for that shouldn't be as difficult.
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