BBC Introduces New iPhone iPlayer App with 3G Streaming

The BBC has finally launched its new BBC iPlayer app for Apple iPhone and iPod touch devices with 3G streaming made available across all mobile networks.

The app is designed to offer improved features to provide enjoyable live TV and radio experience. Users will now switch between different live channels just like their TVs with ‘Live Channel Hopping’. Furthermore, users will also be able to listen to radio in the background while using their devices.

Where the addition of 3G streaming to the iPlayer app is a significant move for the native apps’ fans, the 3G will be made available across a range of iPlayer mobile Web devices within a week. This clearly suggests that the other mobile operating system users will also be able to watch catch-up TV while on the go.

Some of the most prominent features of the new BBC iPlayer app are:

  • Live TV and radio with easy channel switching
  • 3G streaming across all mobile networks
  • Background listening
  • Improved playback with greater resilience to network congestion
  • Improved user experience with a simple and intuitive design

Until now, majority of the mobile users using this service across different platforms have been restricted to assess iPlayer over Wi-Fi, for 3G streaming was limited to selected networks. The current move is, therefore, enable millions of users to access the service across all platforms.

The General Manager Programs and On Demand of BBC, Daniel Danker says:

“This has been a great year for BBC iPlayer on mobile with over 1.5 million installs on the Apple iPad and 1.2 million installs on Android devices since launch in February 2011. People love using BBC iPlayer on mobiles and tablets, and with 16.5 million programs watched in October 2011 usage has more than doubled over the last year. With the new app audiences will enjoy catch up and live TV in a simple, easy-to-use mobile experience. Today’s announcement also means more licence fee payers can enjoy a better experience when using BBC iPlayer on the move, and reflects our ambition to take BBC iPlayer beyond the desktop. We have worked closely with mobile operators to ensure that their networks are ready for iPlayer, and introduced 3G streaming to offer license fee payers a truly mobile experience.”

Since its launch in 2007, the BBC iPlayer, the BBC’s video on demand service has been a huge hit. In September this year, the service hit 153 million requests for TV and Radio programs across all platforms.

In August, the reports of BBC’s future plans for iPlayer surfaced, as the company wants to adopt more aggressive approach that takes their app beyond the restricted boundaries. Almost fifth of the UK online users use iPlayer and the company is in dire need to expand its services to the masses. So, the BBC came up with a dedicated iPhone app with 3G streaming to ensure that majority of the online users get access to their app.

If you are interested to download the iPlayer app for and iPod Touch, you can download it for free here.

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