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MacRumors
Dec 20, 2011, 12:55 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/12/20/bbc-developers-on-designing-the-new-iplayer-for-iphone/)


Last week, the BBC introduced its iPlayer for iPhone (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/12/12/bbc-iplayer-for-iphone-launches-in-uk-3g-streaming-of-live-tv-and-radio/) app for UK television license payers. The app allows domestic viewers to view live BBC TV and radio and watch catch-up TV over Wi-Fi and 3G.

It's a major app in the UK and was downloaded 1.1 million times in its first week of availability, with 500,000 of those downloads (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/appsblog/2011/dec/19/bbc-iplayer-iphone-app-update) to users who had never downloaded the iPlayer app previously. The BBC told the Guardian newspaper that 16.5 million programs have been watched on the mobile version of iPlayer thus far this year, up 129 percent year-over-year.

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/12/bbcdevelopment.jpg


Chris Elphick, senior designer leading the BBC iPlayer iPhone App project, lays out the thoughts and processes behind the design (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2011/12/iphone_bbc_iplayer_design.html) of the iPlayer for iPhone UI. For a major project that will be used by millions of people, extensive testing and design is necessary to make the app both easy-to-use and to avoid unnecessarily taxing 3G and Wi-Fi networks.
Earlier I mentioned the opportunities that designing for mobile offers us. One, of course is the ability to change orientation. There was a frequent debate within the design team as to the importance of portrait versus landscape - whether or not it was helpful, necessary or even pleasing to present content differently in a landscape view compared to portrait.

We explored multiple possibilities for landscape views dependent on where you are within the app. In early designs we considered showing as much content as possible in a single view but we felt it wasn't taking full advantage of the screen real estate, nor presenting anything new.

User research, told us that certain users including those who are dyslexic liked the simplicity of a more visual menu with fewer options.BBC iPlayer is a universal app for iPhone and iPad, free on the App Store for United Kingdom users only. [Direct Link (http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/bbc-iplayer/id416580485?mt=8)]

The BBC global iPlayer app, which was updated earlier this month (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/12/06/bbc-global-iplayer-app-coming-to-iphone-and-ipod-touch/), is available in most of Western Europe and Canada -- and is coming to the United States. The app doesn't have the Live-TV, DVR and TV catch-up features that the British version does -- instead, it's a video-on-demand subscription service that gives access to selected portions of the BBC archive.

Article Link: BBC Developers on Designing the New iPlayer for iPhone (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/12/20/bbc-developers-on-designing-the-new-iplayer-for-iphone/)



Schtumple
Dec 20, 2011, 02:03 PM
It's awesome just how fast the BBC has caught up and is now defining online viewing of TV shows. Definitely welcome the iPlayer app, good use of license fee payers money.

testcard
Dec 20, 2011, 02:07 PM
On a related issue, video stories on the BBC News site will now play on the iPad. So they've ditched Flash presumably.

Edit: And on iPhone too.

Dagless
Dec 20, 2011, 02:09 PM
Really interesting article.
Since the iPod app launch I've been watching more content on the iPlayer. Much better than using that web interface.

jabbawok
Dec 20, 2011, 03:11 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

It's a shame the iplayer apps a so unstable and unreliable. It seems the developers don't bother to test the apps on beta releases of iOS so there is a massive lead between iOS updates and the iplayer actually working properly. I've reported bugs and I never get a response. For a while I was beta testing for them on the last update. The guy was so retarded he emailed me a link to the app on his own computer. FAIL.

Primus84
Dec 20, 2011, 03:19 PM
It's a shame they didn't implement AirPlay properly - as a result it only works on iPad 2 and iPhone 4s.

I'm also not sure why they felt the need to have their own design for the play controls - why not use the standard video controls made available by Apple - less confusing and more consistent for users!

Merthyrboy
Dec 20, 2011, 04:05 PM
It's a shame they didn't implement AirPlay properly - as a result it only works on iPad 2 and iPhone 4s.

I'm also not sure why they felt the need to have their own design for the play controls - why not use the standard video controls made available by Apple - less confusing and more consistent for users!

It does work on older devices but like standard apps work. You have to get the iPod controls up, then tap the airplay icon and select the apple tv and then when you play something it'll be on the apple tv.

Primus84
Dec 20, 2011, 04:06 PM
It does work on older devices but like standard apps work. You have to get the iPod controls up, then tap the airplay icon and select the apple tv and then when you play something it'll be on the apple tv.

How do you get the iPod controls up? I've tried tapping but I get the custom iPlayer video tools. - [EDIT] - if you mean double tap the home button etc. then you don't get the airplay icon on older devices.

Mike Oxard
Dec 20, 2011, 04:25 PM
How do you get the iPod controls up? I've tried tapping but I get the custom iPlayer video tools. - [EDIT] - if you mean double tap the home button etc. then you don't get the airplay icon on older devices.

On iPhone 4 and iPad 1 double-tap the home button, swipe left twice and the AirPlay selection is there. The app can't be installed on iPod Touch 2.

Primus84
Dec 20, 2011, 04:26 PM
On iPhone 4 and iPad 1 double-tap the home button, swipe left twice and the AirPlay selection is there. The app can't be installed on iPod Touch 2.

You learn something new, I didn't realise you could double swipe left - is that different to the 4s and iPad 2 - do they have it on single swipe left?

Thanks!

Mike Oxard
Dec 20, 2011, 04:28 PM
On a related issue, video stories on the BBC News site will now play on the iPad. So they've ditched Flash presumably.

Edit: And on iPhone too.

The BBC news (http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/bbc-news/id377382255?mt=8) iPhone/iPad app is a lot better than the website and video has been available on it for a while.

Mike Oxard
Dec 20, 2011, 04:47 PM
You learn something new, I didn't realise you could double swipe left - is that different to the 4s and iPad 2 - do they have it on single swipe left?

Thanks!

Its just a single swipe on the iPad as the control bar is wider so it can fit in all the controls.

Sabenth
Dec 21, 2011, 03:42 AM
Daft question but is it possible to change the region i am in i am no were near london so london news is no use to me

roadbloc
Dec 21, 2011, 04:45 AM
Its times like this I just love the BBC. A brilliantly dynamic company, well worth my licence fee.

ThunderSkunk
Dec 21, 2011, 11:27 AM
Here in the US, we've demonstrated that our country is incapable of producing a news channel.

BBC, pleeease?

Schtumple
Dec 21, 2011, 12:38 PM
Here in the US, we've demonstrated that our country is incapable of producing a news channel.

BBC, pleeease?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world/us_and_canada/

That's the best you're going to get :p

SockRolid
Dec 21, 2011, 12:45 PM
"plan by others"

"sync when we have data connection"

RedTomato
Dec 22, 2011, 07:59 PM
Wirelessly posted (This odd thing that I hold: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

Praise the lord! Subtitles now work on the iPhone!

Thanks BBC for paying attention to accessibility issues. I hope other publically funded media take due notice. Government websites, I'm looking at you.