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BBC iPlayer updates for Android, iOS and Windows Phone 8

The BBC has concluded its latest round of iPlayer updates with new versions for Android, iOS and Windows Phone 8. 

The updates bring the updated Home, Channel, Collections and Category pages first seen on the new iPlayer for web browsers, which was finalised last week on smart TVs and in a slightly different format on Sky.

The Windows Phone 8 upgrade is more significant, with an adaptive bitrate media player, subtitling and live TV streaming as well as an upgraded interface.

BBC iPlayer updates for Android, iOS and Windows Phone 8
iPlayer is now very similar across the web, TV, Android, iOS and Windows Phone 8

Navin Nair, a business analyst in the BBC iPlayer team, said“This means those of you with poorer internet connections will still be able to watch content while those with faster connections will get the best playback quality available.” 

Nair said the Windows Phone 8 update is “far more stable” and is expected to work with a wider range of Windows Phones.

“We know this was one of the main gripes with the original app and we’re keen to do more for a steadily growing user base,” he added.

One change all three new versions have in common is that radio channels have been moved to the dedicated iPlayer Radio app.

Nair added that should Windows Phone smart devices become more popular, features such as downloads could also be added to the app.

Chris Tangye, senior product manager for Mobile Apps at BBC iPlayer, revealed that the Android and iOS apps are now being developed by a single team with a consistent user experience.

Instead of being rolled out in major updates, the new policy is for continuous updates, often being developed and tested in the background but hidden from most users.

“Today’s update is therefore not necessarily the launch of a new version of BBC iPlayer but rather the first step in a programme of work to continuously improve an already successful product,” said Tangye.

“We want to introduce a new navigation menu that is consistent across both platforms, a quicker journey to improved playback, features such as Live Rewind and continuous play, improved ability to favourite programmes as well as making BBC iPlayer a more personal experience with cross platform playback and better, more relevant recommendations.” 

You can download BBC iPlayer for iOS, Android and Windows Phone now. Yesterday, ITV launched its ITV Player catch-up app for Windows Phone 8 devices


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