BBC News Mobile for Windows Phone, developed by Lawrence Gripper, is a highly rated app that absorbs all the headlines from BBC's news division and presents it in an aesthetically pleasing interface. We've continuously praised the work that Lawrence has poured into the project, but he's showing no signs of halting anytime soon. Version 4 is well on its way.
So what's new in version 4? Well, it's probably easier to ask, "What isn't new?" as the app has been completely re-written from the ground up. Lawrence states on his personal blog that the code utilised in the current version of BBC News Mobile is two years-old, which takes us back to the launch of Windows Phone itself - fairly old ones and zeros indeed.
Since the app is built from scratch, Lawrence has been able to improve stability, performance, compatibility (with Windows Phone 8) and the overall experience without working on old code and simply implementing fixes. We've taken the beta for a spin (it's available on the blog) and immediately noticed performance improvements, which are warmly welcomed with the increased specifications of Windows Phone 8 hardware.
Speaking of Windows Phone 8, BBC News Mobile version 4 supports both wide and medium Live Tiles that present relevant information to the user, not to mention lock screen wallpaper integration for photos from the BBC photo blog to be pulled down and applied as daily wallpapers. While the app is well on its way, it's not complete and there's still a few miles of mountain left to climb, but what we've seen so far is exciting indeed.
So what's missing from the current beta?
- Offline reading mode
- Next and previous story buttons when reading story
- Share story
- Secondary live tiles for sections
As well as the above, Lawrence plans to implement a welcome experience, which is expected to be in the form of a walkthrough to help new users in setting up Live Tiles, lock screen wallpapers, feeds, as well as configuring other options. It's going to be a superb version of BBC News Mobile for Windows Phone 8. Check out our quick visual walkthrough below:
You can download the current version of BBC News Mobile from the Windows Phone Store for free, and the beta XAP for the upcoming release is available over on Lawrence's development blog (note you'll require a developer unlocked handset). We expect the new version to be released in due course.
Rich Edmonds is 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 over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.
Used this app for a long time but it always amazes me how the BBC have yet to release even a news app let alone iPlayer to the WP community.
The iplayer name should clue you in to their mobile OS preferences.
iPlayer was being developed before the iphone even existed. i = internet BBC INTERNETPLAYER
I refuse to download anything BBC due to this reason. They aren't worthy to get my attention.
Love this app, use it all the time. Pleased to see this update for it - not that I have any problems with it in its current state.
This is my second favorite app. My favorite being the wpcentral.com app of course.
The BBC news app is already one of my favorites. Can't wait for this.
I thought the BBC news app was free? Why will we have to pay for version 4.0 ?
He's learnt a lot since v1. Its a great app now
Right now, the text fits perfectly on the medium size tile and you can read entire headlines. I certainly hope this doesn't change. Other than that, I've had this app since he released it on WP7. It's a great app and I'm not even a Brit. ;)
One of my favourite apps. Looking forward to this. :)
This has always been one of my favourite apps, but it also nicely demonstrates why we need a notification centre: the live tile shows popular stories but the app also gives you toast notifications for breaking news stories. However, since it doesn't show you breaking news on the live tile, if you miss the toast you have no clue as to what made your phone go off. If you have multiple apps with similar behaviour, that would mean you have to open each and one of them to see if they gave you a notification which surely nobody can think is a good and quick way to do it.
By the way, there is also a nice BBC News windows 8 app by the same developer :)
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