BBC finally releases iPlayer for Windows Phone and it's a strong start

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.

So why have we said it's a "strong start" if we're only looking at a wrapper? Consumers have to take a step back and be grateful we have such a solution in the first place. The ability to watch past BBC shows on a Windows Phone while on the move is something we've been demanding for (literally) years. Here's what is highlighted on the app listing:

  • On demand content over Wi-Fi and 3G.
  • Add shows to your favourites so new episodes are quick to find for you to enjoy later.
  • Ability to listen to BBC Radio in the background.                 
  • Browse programmes by category, schedule, featured and most popular.

Be sure to check your data plan limitations before watching to your heart's content when not on the home network. Favourites can be configured, which is a welcomed step by those who enjoy tuning into a programme series. Search capabilities include browsing programmes by category, schedule, featured and most popular. What's more is the support for BBC radio as an added bonus.

BBC iPlayer

So where can the BBC take its iPlayer app from here? We'll expect to see further development towards a native app on Windows Phone. With enough interest displayed by the community and the rising marketshare in multiple markets (including the UK), the broadcaster can't ignore the platform and its users, especially since it's a public-funded corporation. We'll look forward to full use of panorama controls with a simpler layout.

You can download BBC iPlayer from the Windows Phone Store (region restrictions in place and is listed for Windows Phone 8 only). Thanks to everyone who tipped us!

QR: BBC iPlayer

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.