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BBC iPlayer Android app update adds downloads to catch up with iOS

The BBC iPlayer Android app has been updated to match its iOS counterpart and bring downloadable content to the Google OS for the first time.

Despite the iOS iPlayer app having gained downloadable content options exactly one year and a day ago, until now the Android platform has been left out in the cold. The updated BBC iPlayer Android app will be released through the Google Play store today, September 5, while the Amazon App Store will add it “in the coming days.”

Letting you download shows shown on the Beeb and store them for up to 30 days, the BBC iPlayer Android app will let you continue to make use of content for seven days after first viewing.

Set to be available for eleven Android powered smartphones and tablets, all of which run on version 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich – of Google’s mobile OS, the BBC iPlayer Android app is available as a free download.

Acknowledging the tardy arrival of the download features to the Android iPlayer service, David Berlin, a Senior Product Manager at the BBC in charge of the iPlayer apps stated: “We appreciate the frustration the Android community has been experiencing in the time it has taken to deliver this desired feature, and I’m very pleased that we’ve now been able to deliver it.”

He added: “We’re launching this functionality today for a range of Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) and Jelly Bean. This is because these devices are able to provide the appropriate level of protection for our programmes.

“Our figures show this will mean 70% of Android app users with compatible devices will be able to use this functionality from today – and over the coming months we will be extending this to include new Android devices as well as some older ones.”

Despite being late to the party, Berlin has revealed that the updated BBC iPlayer Android app will add one feature still missing from the iOS version – background downloads.

He stated: “Due to the unique characteristics of the Android platform, we have also been able to bring you the ability to download programs while doing other things, which isn’t currently possible on iOS devices – so no need to keep the screen awake.”

The list of compatible Android devices is a familiar sight of the platform’s more popular smartphones and tablets. The full collection of devices are:

Amazon Kindle 8.9
Google Nexus 7
Google Nexus7 2
Google Nexus 4
Samsung Galaxy S2
Samsung Galaxy S3
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7″
Google Nexus 10
Sony Xperia Z (phone)

Read More: Best Android phones

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