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Users not impressed with iPlayer apps

by Sarah Griffiths on 10 February 2011, 11:21

Tags: BBC

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qa4ji

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One is not amused.

BBC iPlayer's popularity might have taken a knock as users are apparently not too impressed with its app, which only works over Wi-Fi.

According to The Guardian, the Beeb had planned a big press conference to unveil the iPlayer app, but the news leaked on Twitter and the event was cancelled, robbing Auntie's new GM of BBC programmes on demand, Daniel Danker, of his first positive announcement since he joined the corporation in September.

However, Danker confirmed in a blog post that the iPlayer app is rolling out for Android and iPads this week . Both apps need a Wi-Fi connection and let users catch up on shows as well as watch TV and listen to the radio live. Android phone owners will need Froyo and Flash 10.1 to run the iPlayer app and reports on Twitter say the app is now live.

Danker said: "So this is about getting the basics right, simple apps that makes best use of the portable touchscreen experience. We'll be looking to build in more features throughout the year."

However it seems that users are not content with the basics and have moaned that the app does not sit well with Auntie's aim to make iPlayer available to "as many devices and platforms as possible".

There are many messages from disgruntled people on the Bebb's message board attached to Danker's blog post.

One disappointed bloke wrote: "After such a long wait and no iPhone support? There is also no ability to download shows for later viewing. This is such an anti-climax," while another said:"Thanks for a huge letdown BBC. Why Android 2.2? Why Flash? There have been loads of unofficial iPlayer apps that didn't need either so why do you? Like someone else mentioned, your releasing iOS apps that don't/can't use flash so why does the Android app?"

Meanwhile, The Telegraph has reported that people using the app to watch live telly will probably be able to dodge the need for a pricey TV license, after the Beeb admitted it has skipped developing tracking technology.

Auntie has reportedly promised to prosecute anyone who takes advantage of live iPlayer without paying for a TV license but it is not clear how the Beeb will manage this as it has not updated its tech to detect license cheats using tablets, mobiles and computers.

A BBC TV licensing spokesperson reportedly said: "There is no separate enforcement strategy [to cover iPlayer consumption], we continue to focus our attention on the small minority of unlicensed addresses."



HEXUS Forums :: 19 Comments

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Meh, if you have flash anyway just go to the iplayer site & the mobile version pops up, I'm not sure what extra the app can/does provide?
Myplayer on Android was great, download shows but that got canned after the BBC kicked off about it. They won't allow downloading as I imagine it's easy to then copy shows.

As for the wifi issue, it's the same as it was before no? I'm on Voda & couldn't stream up until recently but it will destroy your data cap anyway as its about 120mb for 30mins IIRC.
Rob_B
… As for the wifi issue, it's the same as it was before no? I'm on Voda & couldn't stream up until recently …

AFAIK there were a couple of carriers who the beeb approved for streaming over 3G, one of which was Voda (I've been with them for ~ 18 months now, so it's been possible for that long).

However, making the “official” app use Flash on Android is ridiculous. For some reason Google and HTC between them have decided that my Magic isn't compatible with Flash - which I find curious given how easily it can handle video in every other format I've tried - so I'll not be able to use this. Bad decision by the beeb given that (as is quoted in the article) there've been several third party Android iplayer apps that have managed without flash…
Rob_B
Meh, if you have flash anyway just go to the iplayer site & the mobile version pops up, I'm not sure what extra the app can/does provide?

iplayer works on iphone and ipad already (even without flash) - so there was no need to spend money on these apps IMO
other than some boardroom bods saying “we must make an app”.
I certainly couldn't stream over 3G/HSDPA at first & I've had my Desire for ~ 6months.

The iplayer video wouldn't load & directed you to some page describing who could'couldn't stream, then it just started working form some reason…..strange!
myplayer worked flawlessy, if slowy, over 3G/H
Very disappointing - As others have said myplayer worked great on 2.1 and didn't need flash. But beeb didn't like it so stopped it and now I have nothing. Thanks Beeb!