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BBC Developers on Designing the New iPlayer for iPhone

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. macrumors bot



    Last week, the BBC introduced its iPlayer for iPhone 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 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.


    Chris Elphick, senior designer leading the BBC iPlayer iPhone App project, lays out the thoughts and processes behind the design 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.
    BBC iPlayer is a universal app for iPhone and iPad, free on the App Store for United Kingdom users only. [Direct Link]

    The BBC global iPlayer app, which was updated earlier this month, 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
  2. macrumors 601


    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.
  3. testcard, Dec 20, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011

    macrumors 65816


    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.
  4. macrumors Core


    Really interesting article.
    Since the iPod app launch I've been watching more content on the iPlayer. Much better than using that web interface.
  5. macrumors regular


    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.
  6. macrumors 6502

    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!
  7. macrumors 6502

    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.
  8. Primus84, Dec 20, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011

    macrumors 6502

    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.
  9. macrumors 6502a

    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.
  10. macrumors 6502

    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?

  11. macrumors 6502a

    The BBC news iPhone/iPad app is a lot better than the website and video has been available on it for a while.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Its just a single swipe on the iPad as the control bar is wider so it can fit in all the controls.
  13. macrumors 6502a


    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
  14. macrumors G3


    Its times like this I just love the BBC. A brilliantly dynamic company, well worth my licence fee.
  15. macrumors 68000


    Here in the US, we've demonstrated that our country is incapable of producing a news channel.

    BBC, pleeease?
  16. macrumors 601


  17. macrumors 65816


    So *that's* what Bob in Marketing does all day.

    "plan by others"

    "sync when we have data connection"
  18. macrumors 68040


    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.

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