BBC iPlayer comes to the iPhone

Brings 3G streaming and adaptive bitrate technologies for optimum streaming

December 13, 2011

The BBC has produced a new version of its iPlayer app for iOS, and it’s now compatible with the iPhone as well as the iPad.

The new app works with the iPhone 3GS or better, and the iPod Touch, essentially any Apple iGadget which is running iOS 4.3 or newer.

It also brings a new trick to the table, with the ability to stream over a 3G connection as well as wi-fi.

The Beeb engineers say that they’ve spent a deal of time improving the playback experience on mobile, with the introduction of HLS (HTTP Live Streaming), adaptive bitrate technologies which detect the strength of either the 3G or wi-fi signal.

Should your signal be weaker, the app can downgrade the quality of the video stream to keep a decent streaming frame rate.

There’s also a new live channel switcher to let folks easily zip between channels on the app.

The Beeb explains: “If you want to see what else is on right now just tap on the ‘Live Channels’ button while you watch. So, if I’m watching BBC One on my phone and want to see what’s on BBC Two, I just tap on ‘Live Channels’ to switch over. It’s an easy way to see what’s on now and flip over.”

If you’re running iOS 5, the app is also compatible with AirPlay, so you can hook up your iGadget to your Apple TV to stream iPlayer content.

Development on the Android app is also continuing, with the BBC expecting to release a new version which boasts 3G streaming in the new year. It will also feature the same adaptive video technology as brought to the iPhone and iPad here.


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