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February 9, 2011

BBC iPlayer for iPad and Android to launch this week

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by Darren Allan

The BBC has officially confirmed that the iPlayer app for the iPad will be available before the week is out, as was leaked yesterday by a Beeb online engineer on Twitter.

Daniel Danker, General Manager of Future Media & Technology, announced this fact on the BBC Internet Blog. He also added that the iPlayer app was coming to Android as well. Although not the iPhone, to the chagrin of many.

Some Android users aren’t too happy, either, as the app requires Flash 10.1 and Android version 2.2. As folks on the blog comments thread have pointed out, the Beeb can apparently use non-Flash on iOS, but not on Android, leaving those with older versions of Google’s operating system out in the cold.

The app will only stream via wi-fi, as well, not 3G (you’ll still be able to browse content via 3G, just not play it).

Danker notes that the iPad app offers a “significant improvement on the existing [iPlayer] experience” – i.e. via the browser – but then goes on to add: “This is about getting the basics right, simple apps that makes best use of the portable touch-screen experience. We’ll be looking to build in more features throughout the year.”

Which seems to suggest there won’t exactly be a huge difference, or many whistles and bells, at least not initially.

We’ll find out what the score is come tomorrow or Friday, when the app is launched.


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