The BBC's iPlayer for iPhone has arrived in the United Kingdom with 3G streaming of live BBC TV and radio. In a blog post announcing the app, the BBC noted that 1.5 million users have installed the iPlayer for iPad app, and 16.5 million programs were watched on mobile devices, up 129% year-over-year. With the new iPhone and iPod Touch app, that number should continue to aggressively increase.
The UK version of iPlayer allows domestic viewers to view live BBC TV and radio and watch catch-up TV over Wi-Fi and 3G.
The BBC iPlayer app for the iPhone and iPod touch puts all of the BBC’s national television channels and radio networks in your pocket. You can now watch live television channels and listen to live radio stations wherever you are.
We have developed a neat live channel switcher so you can easily flick between channels just like on your TV or radio. If you want to see what else is on right now just tap on the ‘Live Channels’ button while you watch. So, if I’m watching BBC One on my phone and want to see what’s on BBC Two, I just tap on ‘Live Channels’ to switch over. It’s an easy way to see what’s on now and flip over.
The app is compatible with Apple AirPlay. If you are running iOS 5, you can connect your iPhone or iPod touch to Apple TV and watch your favourite programme on your television.
You can listen to any of the BBC’s national radio stations in the app. To make this easier, we have enabled background audio so you can do other things on your phone, like check mail or surf the web, while listening to your favourite BBC radio station.
The 3G streaming works on the iPhone 3GS or newer as well as 3G-capable iPads. The app uses extensive adaptive bitrate technologies to adjust streaming speeds depending on signal strength, and the BBC's tech team has worked closely with UK carriers to optimize the experience for users.
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 last week, 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.