BBC iPlayer launches mobile downloads for smartphones and tablets
Today, the BBC have released updated iPlayer apps bringing mobile download functionality to Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices running iOS 5.1 or greater, with an Android OS update shipping sometime in the near future.
The new mobile download feature provides users with the ability to store any BBC programmes currently available on the iPlayer and make them available for offline viewing when a reliable internet connection is not an option. Such as on a beach, on the tube, or even on a plane or train journey.
“Today’s launch is another big step towards ensuring BBC iPlayer and BBC programmes are available wherever and whenever you want,” says David Madden, Executive Producer for TV & iPlayer mobile.
This is the first time the iPlayer has provided offline viewing for mobile devices. Traditionally the service has been a streaming-only experience. The number of programmes you can download is limited only by the size of your device’s memory and, as with all iPlayer variants, you have 30 days to watch the content before it expires and 10 days to finish watching after you begin playing a selected programme.
As Madden points out; “our data shows that children’s content is particularly popular on tablets, as they are devices kids can sit and play with whatever.” Being able to download and store your child’s favourite TV shows could prove invaluable during long journeys and would be the ideal remedy for an impromptu tiny tantrum.
As with all BBC iPlayer content, you do not currently need a valid TV license to watch on-demand content, but you must have a valid license if you are watching TV live via any receiving device in the home. So to be clear: Live streaming requires a license, non-live streaming and downloads do not require a license.
An updated suite of Android apps is in the works and will be available in the near future, which will be music to the ears of Android 4.1 ‘Jelly Bean’ users, as the latest and greatest Android OS is not currently supported by the BBC iPlayer app.
No plans for a Blackberry iPlayer update were announced and there is still no further news on an iPlayer app for Windows Phone. It looks as though development for Windows Phone will only begin if adoption of the OS increases substantially. However, with the release of Windows 8 just around the corner, we may very well see the iPlayer on Windows-based tablets sooner rather than later, thanks to a slew of Windows 8 laptop/tablet hybrid devices making appearances at recent trade shows.
The new iPlayer for iOS is available now in the Apple App Store.Tagged in: Android, apple, bbc, iOS5.1, ipad, iphone, iplayer, iPod, iTouch
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