BBC Trust finds the corporation not biased against Android and Windows Phone

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.

We've followed the BBC in the past with the massive entity attempting to write Windows Phone off as a dead market, leaving consumers in the dark should they wish to check out programmes they've missed - this can prove to be irritating to those who fork out for the TV license. It's disappointing to see the regulatory body at the BBC finding nothing out of the ordinary in its report.

The actual complaint the report is in response to was filed in 2011, which was escalated to the Trust last year. The BBC has told CNET that fragmentation, which is an issue Android is reportedly still plagued by, has been used as the reasoning behind the lack of updates and why iOS is favoured. The Android app is currently missing functionality, including offline viewing and more.

But our own Windows Phone iPlayer app isn't anything more than a portal to the mobile version of the iPlayer website. It's taken over two years for the BBC to release a Windows Phone app and while it's not brilliant, we assume that the majority of those who have downloaded it from the store are satisfied it's actually presently available. Here's what the Trust had to say about the situation regarding iOS:

 "[The Trust] agreed that developing for Android brought greater complexity and expense and that the case put forward by the [BBC] was persuasive. There were clear reasons why. At the time, iOS was prioritised and agreed this approach was entirely consistent with the [on-demand syndication] policy."

The corporation also states that iOS users are more likely (in both percentage terms and absolute figures) to use BBC on-demand services. That may be true and the iPhone is a popular mobile device here in the UK, but to make apps for competing platforms that simply aren't on the same level of quality is nothing short of inexcusable in the minds of consumers. 

With the rise in popularity and usage for Windows Phone, we'd like to think there are more updates for our own application on the way. While the BBC has got its foot in the door, we'd like to see a native app developed for Windows Phone and we bet Microsoft do too. It's great to have a catch-up service on the smartphone, but there's room for more features and improvements. Offline playback, compatibility issues and more could all be addressed in some minor updates.

What are your thoughts on the BBC and how it's handling app development for platforms other than iOS? Be sure to sound off your thoughts in the comments. via: CNET

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.