The BBC has given further details of the iPad and Android applications for the BBC iPlayer that are slated to make their debut later this week.
In an official blog post Daniel Danker, the BBC’s general manager of Future Media & Technology, said the launch came at a time when the BBC was witnessing massive growth in the number of people using BBC iPlayer on mobile devices. “Over Christmas, growth in mobile use of BBC iPlayer outpaced PC growth by more than 2-to-1, and BBC iPlayer growth on tablets outpaced PCs by more than 20-to-1,” he wrote.
The announcement was brought forward when in a scenario normally reserved for Premier League footballers, a BBC engineer tweeted about the app’s imminent release, resulting in the cancellation of a press briefing planned for Friday morning (February 11).
The BBC had previously repurposed the big screen version of the iPlayer to run on Apple’s Safari browser, but the native iPad app and the new Android version bring a number of new features. This includes the ability to watch and listen to live TV and radio, a feature that has not been widely available on mobile platforms. Users will be able to access the full catalogue of catch-up TV and radio through the app that the BBC says makes the most of the touch screen UI.
Although available to all iPad versions, Android users will need to have Android version 2.2 and Adobe Flash 10.1 Player installed. Video streaming is dependent on a Wi-Fi connection.