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Developer of BBC News Mobile announces hold on development

BBC News Mobile

The developer of BBC News Mobile for Windows Phone, Lawrence Gripper has announced on his personal blog that development has been put on hold for reasons that cannot be published (the BBC does indeed have snipers stationed throughout the UK - so hush up). What does all this mean for the app that many use and love?

Currently all development has been halted, but the BBC News Mobile app is still readily available on the Windows Phone Store. There's not much else to report on apart from for consumers to remain tuned for more details that will come to light as the situation progresses. This isn't the first BBC app to face issues with the corporation. The developer behind Podcast Lounge and Radio Lounge has also experienced trouble on the road. 

We'll be sure to keep our eyes open for any further news from the developer and his apps.

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Reader comments

Developer of BBC News Mobile announces hold on development

37 Comments

If the BBC are the reason why development is on hold, unless their about to reveal a suprise BBC news app of their own, they should leave Lawerence alone, his BBC News Mobile app is arguably one of the best apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace, and the BBC getting all uptight (for whatever their reasons) about it, is "Pointless".

As a user I agree, this is incredibly unfair for those wishing to get past the lack of official apps and support. But if it is a legal/regulatory issue, then that's the end of it. Either way devs such as Lawrence need to be praised and commended for their efforts, and I hope he continues to back WP in other ways.

That said, I would like to hope that all this is a serious first step towards an official app use Lawrence's work as a basis (as well as the other BBC media apps). Maybe Microsoft convinced BBC (new partnership) to transfer these external party solutions, akin to CNN taking up Nokia's app.

I would like to agree with your quite rightly stated point regarding legality, but as a license fee payer, I get slapped in the face by the BBC for having a Windows Phone device, it has taken this long to even get a deal in place to 100% confirm that iPlayer will be coming to Windows Phone. They absolutely suck up to anything Apple, its a joke for an "unbias" corporation to not develop for an established Mobile OS.
If they'd show more commitment to Windows Phone, I would be less inclined to vent such views, but at this point their Windows Phone contribution is 0%.
If however the BBC are in talks with Lawrence regading the Apps future i.e. Making it official, this is the beginning of a better future for the app, providing its handled well.
The one good thing however, is that the App hasn't been actually pulled from the Marketplace (I hope)

My understanding is that BBC receives public funding. In that case, they're obliged to support Windows Phone since some of the public (and patrons) use the OS. Very unjust to not support it IMO.

My guess is that the bbc will purchase / demand this excellent app be turned over. This is a shame as this is a great app. The only,other news app other than Sky are the couple done for al-Jazeera (i like different perspectives) I know the BBC are developing iPlayer but that could be ages. They're known to be bias in favour of Apple and i guess wouldn't be surprised if they go after all bbc apps thus slowing down WP8 development. That's my 2 pennies worth......
L820, UK

I would hate to speculate, but I wouldn't be surprised if BBC legal department is involved in this. Which is a shame as Lawrence's BBC app is actually better than BBC's own Android and iOS apps!
This would be so much easier if the BBC would make apps for Windows Phone, but having a few friends who work there, I know how much of an Apple fanatic they are. In fact you only need to read any of their news coverage re Apple to know what a bunch of fanboys they are.
Still, it is easier to just cancel my TV license. I hardly watch live TV these days so might as well just make it official.

I never know whether to be angry or just laugh at the BBC's supposed diplomatic, no branding/sponsors stance. It's a little hard to believe when their presenters flash an iPad every 5 minutes.

What a surprise, the ibbc blocking a Windows app. Just remember what happened with iplayer, until MS gets involved and does an "undisclosed" deal we won't see an official BBC app.

"For reasons that can't be published" lol, its an app, it's not a secret of the U.S.government. What the hell could be sooo important or maybe it's for the safety of the public. It would be end of days if the public found out. God forbid.

This is an excellent App and have been using it for as long as I've had my HD7 for over 2 years. I had a feeling BBC would crack down on this App because it's not an official one but looks damn close!!!

I hope the BBC doesn't come up with their own app because I love and use this app will be a major shame if its been stopped :(

One of the first app i install. I don't even live in UK. I still even use it even on 7.8 broken tile, but now it's normal. Best of luck.

I concur with everyone who has praised this app and have no interest in an official, made by the BBC app. The official iPhone and Android BBC News apps pale in comparison to this one. The developer has realized the Metro UI style perfectly. Love this app, big thanks to the Dev!

Just don't delete it like I accidentally deleted the USA Today app. It sucks that MS doesn't let you keep a copy like Windows Mobile did.
Still wondering what happened to the excellent USAT app. No response from them to 4 emails..

Love the BBC generally but also love this app (and it's Windows 8 cousin which I guess will go the same way?). Getting a little tired however of BBC's anti-Microsoft stance on everything. Their coverage of Windows 8 launch was outrageously biased and unprofessional (Steve Ballmer gave them an interview and they played a bit of that followed by the clip of him getting overexcited and sweaty, had a laugh at him, and then had some dick from Cnet as an 'expert' announce that Windows was dead as everyone used iPads now). God knows why they have their heads so far up Apple's arse.  As a public service broadcaster they need to be reminded of their obligations. Like Nick said, get writing folks. Perhaps someone should use that Twitter thing I've heard about. Thanks to Lawrence - hope this gets sorted.

Boo! This app has always had a prominent position on my start screen. It'll be a real shame if this isn't resolved.

I suspect an official BBC app is coming up. I noticed the BBC app suddenly has disclaimers all over the place.

I agree with rakeshrai, bearing in mind this app has been around for ages and the BBC haven't given a rat's a$$ I suspect that they are in talks with Lawrence to make this an official app or to buy his app from him since it is, as others have mentioned, very nice.
Don't be so down on the BBC, I've slated them for not having stuff available on Windows Phone but they seem to be making moves now to support it.

As all others would be seriously gutted if this app was removed. It's a great example of what you can do with the double wide tile. It's a crime we don't have more: Facebook, calendar, more apps should use the big tile to show lists/headlines, especially using the tile flip to double the amount of info that can be shown

Thought I would mention that Iplayer works on xbox but not WP? So the if the tech stacks don't align, MS is stupid, if do align then this is some legal issue.

Not happy with beeb over this, lets complain, fire some FOI'S at the trust or create something on change.org.

I would be pretty sure an official app is coming. After all, they've just announced an iPlayer app for Windows Phone. Bring it!!

As like many of you I believe the BBC is the reason behind this and I am disapointed. You cannot tell us that Windows Phones are not worth your time on the one hand then waste time persecuting people who have supported the Windows Phone for the longest time.
After how hard is it to provide an Official App? Especially when individuals have achieved this without your help.