BBC gives iPlayer on Windows Phone a major visual overhaul in latest update
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.
The development team have completely overhauled the viewing experience. The player was indeed functional but now the app utilizes an adaptive bitrate player. This enables those with poor connectivity to still enjoy content while on the move, but also allowing users with faster connections to receive the best quality. To take full advantage of this bitrate player, the team have added live TV to make it simpler than ever to keep up with favorite BBC channels.
Just over one year ago, the BBC released the iPlayer app for Windows Phone and today's update (version 1.3.0) introduces a new look and feel that closely resembles the overall design language of Windows Phone (and Microsoft's Modern UI in general). The update also focuses on bringing across the same experience to a wider range of Windows Phones, which was a major issue with the original app.
Another change that consumers will notice in the new iPlayer is the lack of Radio content, which was previously available through the service. The BBC is now focusing more on offering a greater TV viewing experience in iPlayer itself. It's stated the iPlayer Radio team are currently working on a similar app with optimized listening experiences, which we're greatly interested in seeing launched on Windows Phone too. This iPlayer app will surely be well received, but there's still room for improvement so be sure to leave the BBC feedback.
What's in store for the future? The BBC notes that it's analyzing the market share of Windows Phone and once it reaches a point where the development team can justify adding more costs to the project, next versions of the app will include features like downloads and offline playback. For now, enjoy the new look of iPlayer on Windows Phone.
- Download BBC iPlayer (Windows Phone 8 – region restricted)
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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.
Oh BBC, you do know how to disappoint!
Still, nice to see the app is being updated. Now Microsoft, go and give the rest of the UK buying public reason to switch from the other two OS's. Up the PR and marketing budget :)
I must say though, iPlayer downloads on Android are very buggy (and it doesn't even support that many devices). IOS is the only good implementation....and they have poxy little screens.
As it stands, I don't feel overly hard done by. My 1020 gives me a good viewing experience, and fast mobile internet makes real time viewing a pleasant experience.
Give us offline downloads though BBC - you'll bag an easy 5*'s from me!
Give us radio & news though - they are certainly apps that I do miss.