BBC Launches dedicated BBC Sport iPhone app, Android version coming soon
The BBC are today introducing a brand new BBC Sport mobile app for iPhone and iPod Touch users. An Android version is expected to launch in the coming weeks, once the BBC’s app developers have finished testing a brand new ‘responsive web design’ capable of adapting to screen sizes as large as 7 inches.
The BBC are mixing their mobile-optimised web content with a native user interface, in much the same way as they did with their official London 2012 Olympics app last year, which was a huge success with its users. This approach makes it easier to add, modify and optimise web-based content, while offering a smoother, more responsive, native user experience. Meaning the app can take advantage of the interface features that are baked into the operating system itself, rather than trying to mimic them in an online environment. The result is a familiar and intuitive native app experience, combined with the flexibility and lightweight benefits of web-based content.
Unfortunately the Android version of the new BBC Sport app is still in development, but is expected to launch in the coming weeks. Lucie McLean, BBC Sport’s executive product manager for mobile services, stated on the official BBC Internet Blog that the Android app “still needs some more development work and testing to ensure it works on the wide range of Android devices available”.
The BBC are keen to point out that they listened carefully to the feedback received for their official London 2012 Olympics app, and have taken user feedback into consideration when developing the new stand-alone BBC Sport app.
One of the biggest requests received was support for larger screen sizes found in many Android devices, such as 7 inch tablets and large screen Android smartphones. In order to make it possible to cater for such a wide variety of screen sizes, the BBC have adopted ‘responsive web design’ practices to develop Android apps that can dynamically scale in size to fit screen as big as 7 inches.
The BBC also plans to support Amazon’s range of Kindle Fire tablets, which are based on Google’s Android operating system, but will require additional testing once the Android app is complete.
Windows and Blackberry OS users shouldn’t hold their breath for a native app anytime soon, the BBC have made it quite clear that it’s just iOS and Android for the time being, but you can still access the same BBC Sport content via the mobile and desktop websites.
Lucie McLean went on to state that the BBC are “developing the app for Apple and Android devices which currently account for approximately 75% of the UK smartphone market. We haven’t ruled out developing the app for other platforms but building apps is expensive and as a publicly-funded organisation we have to prioritise the areas where we can reach the most users at the lowest costs.”
Interestingly, the BBC website makes no mention of iPad or iPad Mini support in the near future, so it looks like it’s the desktop web experience only for the time being. For more information visit the official BBC Internet Blog here, or download the app directly from the App store here.
What do you think of the new BBC Sport app?
Tagged in: Android, bbc, iPhone app, Sport app
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