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We got a sneak peek of Planet Earth’s companion app and Attenborough fans will love it

The BBC is set to release its first natural history app, celebrating its numerous documentary titles as well as Sir David Attenborough’s decorated career.

The Story of Life, the latest digital release from the BBC, will be downloadable from November 17. As always with the Beeb, the app will be free and available across both iOS and Android devices. We headed over to the BBC to get a sneak peek.

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First and foremost, The Story of Life is a learning tool. Inside the app are a boatload of clips from David Attenborough’s five-decade-long career at the BBC – including some from as early as 1961.

The footage, pulled from 47 different titles, is chopped up into clips lasting around 4-5 minutes and is searchable by breed, geographical location, habitat and much more. And just because it’s been chopped up doesn’t mean the footage has lost any of its charm.

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bbc app

It’s not just animals, either. There’s also a bunch of neat, behind-the-scenes footage from some of the BBC’s earliest natural history titles as well as interviews with old crew members.

That’s all good stuff, but the real attraction is David Attenborough. The long-standing documentary legend has been deeply involved in its making. The release coincides with the documentary-maker’s 90th birthday year, and is as much a celebration of his life as of the BBC’s work with him. Quickly embracing digital media, the BBC veteran had the final say over much of the content, as well as filming over 20 “Easter egg” segments that are littered throughout the app.

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What’s more, you can use the app to create collections of your favourite clips – useful if you want to educate people on certain animals, or even if you just want to create a montage of memorable moments.

The Story of Life is possibly the largest app the BBC has made, having taken over a year to put together. It marks an obvious move to embrace digital media more widely.

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