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BBC iPlayer Radio makes the jump to Android, ‘even better’ than iOS offering

The BBC has rolled out its iPlayer Radio app for Android, stating that the new Google-friendly version of the service is ‘even better’ than last year’s iOS offering.

The first time the Beeb’s iPlayer Radio app has been made available for Android powered devices, the new service, which can be downloaded via the Google Play Store now, has been optimised for smartphones running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or above, as well as a selection of Android hosting tablets, such as the Amazon Kindle Fire HD.

“I’m excited to announce the launch of BBC iPlayer Radio for Android,” James Simcock, BBC Radio’s Executive Producer for Mobile said. “This app has all the features of the iOS app as well as some improvements that, as an Android user myself, I think make it even better.”

Hitting Google’s dominant mobile platform a full six months after being made available for iOS devices, the new BBC iPlayer Radio Android app is free to download and offers users live streams of all BBC radio stations as well as access to on-demand shows and content.

With users able to plan their listening habits around the available programme guide, the BBC iPlayer Radio Android app also offers access to a selection of the broadcaster’s podcast and video collections, with an integrated alarm-clock function meaning you can now wake up to the tones of your favourite station.

Having lived up to its recent promise to bring the iPlayer Radio app to Android devices, the BBC has suggested the new version is ‘better’ that the Apple appeasing option, with more intuitive navigation methods, including swiping sideways through available shows thrown into the mix.

With the carousel navigation options still lining up front and centre, the BBC, speaking in an official blog post, has revealed that the app also supports Android’s notifications panel. With Adobe’s Flash no longer supported by the Android platform, the Beeb has confirmed it has switched to a HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) protocol to run the application.

Hinting that there is still more to come, Simcock stated: “Using HLS has a number of benefits, including the ability to efficiently access high quality live and on-demand audio whilst allowing you to continue to use other apps on your device at the same time, and [it] allows us to develop exciting new features in the future.”

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