BBC confirms iPlayer for iPad and Android

The BBC has ended speculation about iPlayer Apps for mobile devices with confirmation that the telly-on-the-move service is coming to both the iPad and Android-powered gadgets.

"The BBC News app has been a success for us since launching last year and BBC iPlayer will be next off the production line," writes Daniel Danker from the BBC bog.

iOS devices have had access to the catch-up service before now but through a modified version of the iPlayer web site rather than an actual stand-alone App.

"These apps are coming at a time when we're really beginning to see massive growth of people using BBC iPlayer on mobile devices. Over Christmas, growth in mobile use of BBC iPlayer outpaced PC growth by more than 2-to-1, and BBC iPlayer growth on tablets outpaced PCs by more than 20-to-1," boasts Danker.

Apparently the code monkeys at Broadcasting House are applying the finishing touches to the Apps as we write, and they should be in the iTunes App Store and on Android Marketplace by the end of the week.

The new native Apps are said to be a "significant improvement" over the re-purposed web content and will also allow users to watch live TV and listen to live radio as well as gaining access to the full catch-up service and video on demand archives.

The Apps have been optimised for touchscreen devices and offer an intuitive user interface and high picture quality, according to the Beeb.

There are some caveats for Android users, as Danker points out: "To download and use the App you'll need a device that uses Android version 2.2 and has Adobe Flash 10.1 Player installed. Our Flash streams need a powerful mobile phone processor and a Wi-Fi connection to ensure a smooth viewing experience, which means that only newer, more powerful Android 2.2 devices connected via Wi-Fi can support the Flash 10.1 streaming experience."

It's not clear from the information available how the iPad App will get past Apple's much-publicised Flash ban - or what the licensing ramifications of streaming live TV on mobile users will be - but as soon as we get our hands on the software, we'll let you know.

[UPDATED Feb 10th 12:37]

The BBC's free iPlayer App for iPad is available now. (iTunes link).

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