BBC iPlayer To Launch On iPad

The BBC has announced that there will be a specially designed version of the iPlayer for Apple's iPad, one that will be launched this coming Friday when the device is officially launched in the UK.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, Erik Huggers, BBC's director of future media and technology, said that the application, which would be available from the iPad section of the App store, will bring high definition content to the tablet.

BBC unveiled a new version of its popular iPlayer content yesterday complete with a major overhaul of its user interface, one which introduces integration with social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Later this year, users of Microsoft's Windows Live messenger will be able to use the same authentication to log into iPlayer, invite their acquaintances to watch BBC content and chat simultaneously.

Another interesting aspect of the new launch is the release of an iPlayer Desktop which introduces PVR like capabilities like series downloads and scheduled downloading of programmes that have yet to be aired.

BBC's latest data shows that more than 123 million programmes have been downloaded or streamed last month with 5.6 million visitors using the service every week, all of them in the UK.

And for the first time ever, BBC will be including all of its competitors (and partners) in its search results. Which means that searching for "home and away" on the iPlayer will bring up links to the Australian soap on Channel five.

ITV Player, 4OD from Channel 4, Demand Five, Clic and SeeSaw, which is a reborn version of BBC's failed Project Kangaroo, have been chosen with the major one left out being BSkyB.

You can try the new Beta iPlayer interface here.

We will be covering the launch of the iPad live from their Regent Street Stores from 7am and you're invited to join us. You can already bookmark our video landing page here where you will find the livestream.

ITProPortal also launched a contest inviting prospective and current iPad owners to get up to £500 worth of iPad accessories (including iPad Apps and Apple iTunes Credit) simply by submitting the list of accessories they'd like to have. Simples!!!