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115

BBC News Mobile app removed from Windows Phone store as situation worsens

BBC News Mobile

Lawrence Gripper, the well-known developer behind the BBC News Mobile app for Windows Phone, has published a new entry on his personal blog. The news isn't good, folks. Gripper details the removal of the app from the Windows Phone store, which is likely due to the entanglement between himself and the BBC. This announcement follows on from the hold on development.

For those who aren't quite up to speed with what's going on, the BBC News Mobile app (as well as other apps that use or accesses BBC content) are running into legal issues with the corporation. The app by Gripper has been available on the Windows Phone store for years and has witnessed Microsoft's platform grow through the updates. It's a real shame as it has continuously been praised here for the intuitive design and functionality.

Gripper managed to reveal the following to those who follow his work:

"These have been a labor of love for me since the launch of Windows Phone in 2010 and it is with great sadness today that I removed both applications from the store. I do not wish to comment any further on the matter except to thank the over half a million people who downloaded the application and all those who have supported, tested, rated and emailed over the years."

We'll be the first to wish Gripper well in future projects, and should he manage to pop along to the next WPUG meeting in London, we'll buy the ol' chap a pint. The blog post does end with a request for jokes, so here's one (courtesy of the BBC) from the Windows Phone Central team to Mr Gripper:

Mrs Brown's Boys

Who says we don't have a sense of humour? (Mrs Brown's Boys) At the time of writing this article, BBC News Mobile still remains listed on the Windows Phone Store, so be sure to head on over and download the app before it disappears.

QR: BBC News Mobile

Thanks, aaa6112, for the tip!

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Reader comments

BBC News Mobile app removed from Windows Phone store as situation worsens

115 Comments

Can't believe i pay my license fee for the BBC to sit on their arses and do nothing for 2 years apart from bully a developer who drives traffic to their site. Idiots.

Ive just rated the app and added disgruntlement with bbc. What is happening with their so called impartiality when they are refusing to support wp but happy to back and promote ijunk at the drop of a hat?

how dare they. we pay our TV licence fee to them to keep them going, yet they're not offering a BBC News app to us, and this stunning app is being removed most likely due to a complain to Microsoft from the BBC. Our voice needs to be heard, make a complaint to the BBC:
 
https://ssl.bbc.co.uk/complaints/forms/?reset=#anchor
 
I am making mine now! i love this app!

I've complained too. I'm no conspiracy theorist but certainly interesting it needs you to go through so many pages... Everybody should do it!

This no doubt confirms they're working on their own app, as they clearly don't want any competition. But it's still a horrible way to go about it when a guy has been promoting the BBC's content for years, if anything he should be hired to work on their official app.

I'd like to believe this, but I think they're so mesmerised by iThings I'm not convinced. Love to be proved wrong, of course.

Isn't the BBC government owned? How does that even happen? They are in the company of "state run" news agencies like N.Korea, China, Iran and Venezuela. That's a good list to be on.

We fund the BBC, the government do not have any money that they haven't coerced from us under threat of prison.

If you don't like this, let BBC know about it. It's ridiculous, and BBC need to hear it. But dont just whinge here, won't do any difference.

Possibly a sign the bbc are getting a move on and bringing something official. Probably too much to expect though.
Bully boy tactics are bad news though regardless.

I never understand this sort of thing. It's similar to the crap that GMaps had to go through with Google.
OK, so YOU don't want to spend the money to build an app. Fair enough. But you're going to take EXTRA time and money to go shoot down someone else who is doing it FOR FREE? Someone who is giving you additional eyeballs, publicity, whatever and strengthening the reach and entrenchment of your brand? <headdesk>
It just makes no sense at the purest of practical levels.

BBC are known to be very biased towards anything Apple. I visited their HQ at White City once and it's almost like an Apple showroom. Apple won't need to pull strings, BBC are more than willing to continue supressing other platforms, whilst promoting Apple every chance they have.

From their statement when they announced the iplayer was coming to WP I bet they are holding out for a deal 'ahem getting paid ahem' with Microsoft, which will probably be another link to their webpage like the iplayer app. Wish I could do more to reciprocate in kind. They have no problem harbouring dodgy presenters but cant release an app for a growing OS. Twats.

I'm from the US, never used the app once.  Never really had a need to but Rich, if you're taking donations to buy the man  a pint (or a few dozen), I'm in.  Instead of complaining about s*it that's out of our control, I'd rather celebrate the man who got 500k downloads on an unofficial app. 

Sent a letter of complain to the BBC. Knowing what a bunch of iTards who work there, I doubt nothing will be resolve. BBC will continue worshiping Apple, while ignoring license fee payers pleas for platform neautrality. 
 
As I hardly ever watch live TV any longer, I think it might be time to just cancel my license fee. 
 

Shame you can't even cancel your liscence. You own anything that can recieve any type of tv, live or otherwise, you gotta pay up

Not true. Unless you do not watch live TV or live internet TV then you can cancel your license. According to BBC themselves, you can watch iPlayer without license fee as it isn't live.

I have used this app daily since I added it just before Christmas. Had some major issues with my phone this week and the phone was doing weird things and stopping apps working. I deleted a load of apps and re-installed them. Lucky I didn't leave it until today. Mr Gripper should be thanked for making an app, available free, without it being ruined by ads. 10/10

Never been on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram, so nowadays that tends to prevent me from entering competitions or venting frustrations out at companies. I urge others to do so though on this occasion as I enjoy the app. I am assuming I will be able to keep the app and it will still work.

...CNN. What would i do with that?
I'm not sure you understand. iPlayer lets you watch tons of BBC programs anywhere, be it mobile, TV, console, tablet etc. All brits pay for the service right from tax and we get all of the services without ads or addition costs.
CNN, Fox has nothing to do with this or offer the service. 

Wow. I almost coughed up a lung on that one. CNN? Really? Well, it is a bit like the BBC in that they use a 3 letter acronym to identify themselves.

Wooo! You got the point. App named with 3 letters and news in English. If you are in to "three-letter-apps", there's also NRK in the market.

The CNN app is wonderful if you want the American view of what is happening in the American world.  For the rest of us, the BBC gives the bigger picture.

What other uk news apps or newspaper apps are people enjoying? I too will miss this app, its been one I've used since day one on Wp7.

There's the Guardian, but the app has been abandoned. Like the BBC, the Guardian are known to be run by Apple fanboys. Just visit their HQ in King's Cross. Macbooks, everywhere.

There's also the Times (requires a subscription), not a paper I would recommend and Metro, a London-orientated paper.

Bootcamped or running VMWare to run Windows though presumably? ;)
Tablets have had a big hit on Macbook sales which are down significantly. Times are changing.
The new Baytrail Atom due at the end of 2013 and refresh cycles means Windows8 on cheap Atoms with decent performance and 10 hour battery life are gonna bite back hard at Apple over the coming 2 years - watch this space!

So, if Microsoft remove it from the store can't they also remotely uninstall the app from your device?

Complained and tweeted. Tweeted @BBCRoryCJ too, as he's the tech writer for the BBC. Funny how he's not covering this story.

Guys, if any more of you do complain using this form, can you make sure it's worded appropriately. Don't want our cause being disregarded because people are calling them "iTwats" or similar.

Just tweeted about the #BBCiSheep I've used this app since day one cant believe the BBC will waste our money removing it rather than trying to better it, not that they could.

Sent complaint. Ridiculous situation. Having worked for these guys in the past i know where these complaints go and if enough of them they will issue a "statement" but that's about it.

There's an Apple fanboy somewhere in BBC's IT department. They bend over backwards to publish through iTunes but try and resist Android and Windows Phone.

Tweeted several tweet from other people with the hastag. Will be sending a complaint as well. Should set up a petition.

Come on BBC, just come out and say it. You suck massive iCock.
On a more serious note, good luck to Lawrence, despite the BBC showing they don't give a shit about its audience, the Windows Phone community thanks you for the fantastic BBC News Mobile app which you gave up your time and effort all for free. I will of course be still using the app, even more so with the BBC removing it from the Marketplace

I dont understand what all the fuss is about. Why is everyone so keen on getting drowned in limey propaganda. Same goes for fox news & CNN.

To be honest the BBCs support for Microsoft products in general has been poor. They wrangled over issues with the 360 service far to long playing on the License fee and commerical reasons all the while leaving us with nothing whilst supporting other platforms. The support from the BBC on Windows has been virtually non existant at almost any level so maybe they are about to finally recognise the platform whoopdee doo! You do realise that by simplying favouring one platform over another you are already providing commercial incentives regardless of what Live subscription one may of had.
The head of non existant apps at the BBC just asked me to pass along this message "So long and thanks for all the fish Mr Gripper"

BBC 1 just shown an in house advervt. Before Country File showing how great the BBC News content is on Mobile and Tablet.
And made no attempt to hide that it was only iOS devices. Fucking stinks