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iplayer

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has released a fairly substantial update for its iPlayer app on Windows Phone. The latest release makes it even easier for consumers to enjoy their favourite shows while on the go. Contrary to popular belief, the BBC has been busy working on new versions of its catch-up service and it's great to see Microsoft's mobile platform included. Head past the break to find out what's new.

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The BBC has released an update for its iPlayer app on the Windows Phone Store. The popular client enables you to watch and enjoy your favourite shows in a catch-up and on-demand like experience. There's no public change log, but we're got you covered. The latest version (1.2) introduces a few new features, so pop on past the break to find out what's new in the release. 

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The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) has been accused by Android owners that the corporation is biased against Google's mobile platform with its iPlayer TV catch-up service. If you thought it was just the Windows Phone community battling hard against the BBC to get a worthy iPlayer solution available, you'd be wrong. That said, the BBC Trust has found that the corporation has not been biased against competing platforms to iOS.

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The British Broadcasting Corporation has released its catch-up service on Windows Phone with the iPlayer now available for Windows Phone 8 consumers. The app enables users to check out shows they may have missed the past seven days across the BBC channels. As we've covered previously, the BBC hasn't developed a native client as such, but has opted to start with a mobile web wrapper of its website.

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This is not a drill. I repeat, this is not a drill. The BBC has announced, in a recent blog post about mobile and the iPlayer service, that a Windows Phone app is well on the way. Consumers who reside within the UK will soon be able to enjoy content on the catch-up service. This will prove to be a huge boost for Windows Phone as a top media provider looks to support the platform. So when can we expect to see the app arrive?

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Windows 8 and Windows Phone snubbed by BBC

Just recently the BBC released yet more new apps for Apple’s iPhone and announced plans for more support of Google Android devices. The corporation has stated publically the need to make its content available to all in as many ways as possible but has persistently refused to develop a single app for Windows Phone. They now state they have no plans to support a Windows 8 app too.

The BBC have often cited incompatibilities in their chosen media formats with Windows Phone and the relatively small market share for the platform as being reasons not to make an app. In the latest statement from the ‘beeb’ it’s also apparent that market share and file types aren’t the only thing stopping them developing for Microsoft operating systems. Reason and logic don’t seem to come into play.

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O iPlayer, Where Art Thou?

The on again, off again saga of iPlayer for the BBC and Windows Phone has been toying with anxious readers for months now. At first the Inquirer said it was coming and then Pocket-lint effectively squashed that rumor just three days later, leaving consumers with little hope for an effective media solution.

The hope was always that Nokia would some how come in and save the day for Windows Phone users but alas, that does not seem to be the case. One of our readers, Paul A., emailed the BBC asking for information as to their reasons for not supporting Windows Phone. Surprisingly, Daniel Danker who is the General Manager of Programmes & On Demand for the BBC gave a very thorough response to Paul’s question as to why there is no Windows Phone support.

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During last night’s WPUG meet in central London, we got a chance to catch up with Richard from Igneous Software. BBC Podcast lounge is a must-have app for those that want to catch up on all the amazing and free content from Auntie Beeb. Richard was able to give me a quick walkthrough of the latest update that is currently in testing.

The current app is great but with this update, Richard looks to be taking a logical and very welcome next step. From 1.4 onwards users will be able to subscribe to podcasts. Great news, even better is that it offers options to keep up to 3 podcasts of each. That is very similar to the options presented on the Zune desktop client. Whilst the Zune music hub in Windows Phone is great, it’s not possible to subscribe to podcasts or even browse and download manually. The only way to get podcasts on your device through Zune is to first connect to the computer, subscribe to the podcast and then sync with your phone, once that’s done it will grab them. It’s a far from convenient solution, something better needed to be found.

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Igneous Software, not content with making their excellent BBC Podcast Lounge are surely striving for greatness with their upcoming launch of the BBC Radio Player. We had previously reported on their plans but were finally able to get hands on demo of it at last night’s Windows Phone User Group (WPUG).

The new player will improve on the previous version in a number of ways. The UI has been updated to closely follow that of the official apps on other platforms. Igneous have taken great care to replicate the colours and visual cues from the iPlayer whilst taking advantage of Metro’s inherent slick delivery of typography and graphics.

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Say what? It was only Friday when we reported that Nokia had told The Inquirer that a BBC iPlayer app is on the way for Windows Phone, and should arrive within the next few weeks. Now we have Pocket-lint publishing an article stating otherwise with a response from the British corporation.

"BBC iPlayer is already on over 500 platforms and devices including Virgin Media, BT Vision, FreeSat, Freeview, Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii, and hundreds of mobile phones, tablets and Internet-connected TVs,” said the BBC spokesman. 

We are always looking at new and existing platforms to bring BBC iPlayer to, but have no plans to launch a BBC iPlayer native app in Windows Phone Marketplace in the immediate future.”

We'd like to point out that we believe the above statement to be a template response, and shouldn't be taken as what's final on the status of such an app. It would be strange for Nokia to confirm that the BBC iPlayer is coming to Lumia Windows Phones when it isn't, especially since the manufacturer has been superb with public and developer relations thus far. But then again, anything can happen.

We've contacted the BBC and Nokia for more information. We'll update accordingly.

Source: Pocket-lint

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We last covered a Windows Phone version of the BBC iPlayer back in August last year, where we brought the unfortunate news that the corporation was waiting for the platform to support Flash before they'd attempt to bring the on-demand service to Windows Phone owners. Nokia has now informed The Inquirer that the BBC iPlayer will be coming to Lumia owners in the coming weeks.

Now, first question that springs to mind is how has the team at the BBC got round the no-Flash capability? Second, how long is the exclusivity going to be (if at all) with Lumia handsets? Nokia has been busy building relations with developers and companies to bring across apps to the platform and improve the selection of big brand names available. It would make sense for an iPlayer solution to be made available to all Windows Phone consumers, especially since Microsoft has also managed to get the service live on the Xbox.

That's the good news, and we'll look to update you all with more information on dates of availability, as well as any details on a potential Lumia exclusivity. The bad news in this article, and from the Nokia source, is that a Sky Go app is not looking likely for another few months. The service is a popular add-on for Sky customers and will prove to be an issue until a solution is available for Windows Phone with apps already in the iOS and Android app markets. Unfortunately, no details were revealed for 4OD, ITV Player and 5 on Demand.

Source: The Inquirer

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Update: WPCentral reader uuf05 got in touch with the BBC and requested reasoning as to why they haven't released an app for the platform yet. You can view their reply in his comment below. Here's the main snippet:

The BBC want to bring BBC iPlayer to as many audiences as possible, across a range of devices. Unfortunately, as the Windows Phone 7 doesn't support HLS or Adobe Flash, the formats we use for streaming videos, we can't make BBC iPlayer available on this phone at the moment.

So until the platform supports BBC's used formats (HLS or Flash) it seems the BBC wont bring us an app to gain access, which is a shame. What do you all make of this?

Read the full story after the break...

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