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iPad iPlayer Coming This Week

David Gilbert


iPad iPlayer Coming This Week [Update]

Isn’t Twitter great? Not only can we find out every thought which passes through Stephen Fry’s mind, but it can also inform us as to when the BBC will be launching it’s iPad app for the iPlayer.

Last night Geoff Marshall tweeted that the BBC would be launching the iPad-only app for its hugely popular on demand online service this Thursday, 10 February. Marshall described himself subsequently as a “support-tech dude” and “beeb operational techie” and not a developer and only knew about the launch as it was mentioned in a briefing yesterday. The launch will only be in the UK with the US subscription-based service launching some time this summer (June) according to Marshall. The BBC announced its plans for going global with the iPlayer service last December.

Marshall indicated that the app would need a Wi-Fi connection to allow for browse and playback functions while those with a 3G connection would only be able to browse only. Marshall also wondered aloud (via Twitter) why there was no iPhone app coming along with the iPad version as he himself was an iPhone owner. Marshall was obviously enjoying the response he got to his tweet by replying to numerous questions from a lot of different people.

Marshall went on to then announce that the UK Radio Player which was due to be launched this week has now been put back until March and that Interlinking (the feature that links to non-BBC programmes) should go live today but at the time of printing this had yet to happen. (We’ll keep you posted). Marshall's most recent tweet suggested the launch could be delayed until Friday but we'll await the BBC's official announcement.

Update: The BBC has now announced that an Android app will now be made available by the end of this week as well as an iPad app - though no word on an iPhone app as of yet.

Source: Twitter

Brian ONeill

February 8, 2011, 5:45 pm

The current iplayer works fine on the ipad, so not to sure how different the app will be.


February 8, 2011, 6:06 pm

The current one does not work well for me on my iPad. I'm lucky if it doesn't lose connection every 5 minutes. The BBC have a thread about this on their iPlayer forum as people are fed up. I just hope it fixes the problem.


February 8, 2011, 6:21 pm

Dear god, a TV "channel" in the US without constant adverts, surely thats going to cause some kind of national scandal?

Brian Carter

February 8, 2011, 6:22 pm

I think it's wrong that you can't watch over 3g. If you pay for a connection and bandwidth then you're entitled to use it IMO. If the network can't cope then you get stuttering video - and that's your choice. If you watching over 3g effects other people's network enjoyment then the network's broken - and that's the network owners' responsibility to fix.

I imagine you still have the option of watching it through safari, but that just means that the 3g restriction is even more obtuse.


February 8, 2011, 6:56 pm

@Brian Carter - Theres always a way around that problem with the Jailbreak and 3G unrestrictor which makes the iPhone thinks its on wifi even when on 3G (and also allows you to download apps over 20mb which you usually cant on 3G)


February 8, 2011, 9:22 pm

Will I, as a licence holder, be able to watch it whilst I am travelling ? Will it let me enter my licence number perhaps or register a device against my licence to enable this? I hope so as I spend a lot of time in Canada.


February 8, 2011, 10:03 pm

....and Android too (v2.2 upwards + Flash) {http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/...}


February 9, 2011, 1:23 am

@rsrd. No one needs a license to watch iplayer, as it does not broadcast live tekevision. I do not have a TV but I can use iplayer legally. However, I am mystified since iplayer is only available when using within the UK. Try using iplayer on your laptop when abroad, and you get a message saying BBC tv is not available outside UK. The radio bit works.


February 9, 2011, 2:40 pm

I don't think iPlayer should be available abroad unless it's charged for. I also don't think they should be wasting money making an iPad app. They should only be working on improving the website to work with all devices.


February 9, 2011, 2:49 pm

@robjohn "No one needs a license to watch iplayer, as it does not broadcast live tekevision."

This version does do live (according to the blog linked by @MattHero), so by your logic (which I think is correct) a licence is required.


February 9, 2011, 7:49 pm


yes, you are right, that is what the blog says. Interesting.

Unless it had an opt out from live broadcasts I would not be able to use the app. Having spent 30 years without a TV, and thus having to deal with the Stasi (sorry, TV Licensing), looks like I have to also prove I don't use my iPad to watch live TV. I can see why the BBC wants to extend need for a TV Licence to those who watch iPlayer.


February 10, 2011, 9:25 pm

@robjohn No I understand that you don't need a licence but I was musing that this may be a way of allowing current licence payers to use the iPlayer whilst abroad as it could if designed properly provide authentication and not cause problems with broadcasting BBC to overseas territories


February 12, 2011, 1:50 pm

Well, we'll have to wait to see what the real offering is from the new app, but one thing is clear: if you watch TV programmes as they are being broadcast you need a TV license, on any kind of equipment, including via internet or mobile phone network.

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