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BBC: "We'll fix Android iPlayer"

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#1
Zarch1972

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The folk over at the BBC Internet Blog has gone to great lengths to update us on the future of iPlayer on Android and stress they are working hard to get the app into shape.

They say the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7 are both in the top five Android devices using the refreshed Media Player system they released three months ago.

Again, they stress the importance of Android to them and cite main three goals.
  • Improve the playback experience.
  • Achieve feature parity between iOS and Android.
  • Support a variety of screen sizes.
Fragmentation - blah de blah, is mentioned as usual and "engineering for it requires an ongoing commitment."

"Before Christmas we're going to enable iPlayer on Jellybean 4.2 and offer a richer tablet experience on devices such as the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD."

"Into 2013 we'll prioritise the most popular Android devices so we can deliver the best experience for the biggest audience. As you can see this is just the beginning."

All of this is most welcome, as it's plain to see that Android iPlayer isn't a patch on its iOS counterpart.

When it hits, let us know how you get on with it. Things can only get better, right?

I would suggest you head over to the BBC blog though as it goes into far more detail than I have here. Also, it's worth having a read of the comments, it usually gets pretty lively. ;)

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#2
Matchstick

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If the BBCs own metrics are showing the Nexus 7 as one of the most popular devices why did they remove support for the Nexus 7 in yesterday's update of the BBC News app ?

It's clear the BBC has a heavy Apple idevice bias but they could at least try to look like they give a damn about the quality of the Android apps they release.

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#3
unrandomsam

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They don't really care about Windows either.

(Be trivial to make the video's that are already wmv encoded with fairplay DRM support the newer DRM that the Windows 8 video app / zune needs).

I don't want an app I want the files. Apple gets just mp4's.

iplayer should be better / easier than pulling from alt.binaries.x264.

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#4
Sere83

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I think people forget that the BBC is a very bureaucratic institution. Whether people like it or not Apple provide a more mature and a much easier platform to code for given the extremely limited number of devices. Its also a more secure platform and hugely popular and in essence has been built upon the same framework from the start, unlike on android which was originally flash based. So obviously iOS was going to be their priority.

IMO android hadn't really come into its own until jellybean. With the dropping of flash it was also obviously going to take them a while (baring in mind the bureaucracy and hoops they have to jump through as a public service broadcaster) to get their act together.

The latest update is decent, we all know the quality of the video is not up to par yet and obviously offline viewing isn't there but they are clearly dedicated to improving it and it will no doubt get better with time. All this iOS bias conspiracy theory is nonsense IMO.

At the end of the day Androids a pain in the arse for devs, FACT. Thousands of different devices, a whole heap of different software versions etc etc not to mention security concerns.

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#5
Pondlife

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Less faith in them being able to sort it after reading this article
http://www.bbc.co.uk...nology-20754182

Especially after this part...

RCJ: Why don't you just forget the older devices and concentrate on new ones?



DD: "People write to us saying just that, why bother supporting older devices, why don't you just start with - and then they insert whichever model of phone they have. But more than a quarter of our requests to iPlayer come from devices running Gingerbread. And the number one device contacting us is still the Samsung Galaxy S2, which can't handle advanced video."


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#6
G-razer

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I'm glad they're doing this. I've come late to the game, only just shifting from a phone that I couldn't install it on, to the g300 I initially marvelled at being able to install and use it. Until I ran it in high setting and the frame rate wasn't enough, and even the lipsync was out!

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#7
Pondlife

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Glad they are doing what? Making a right pigs ear of creating an iplayer app?

As someone points out in the blog comments (comment 18 I think) we've had two third party apps that worked better than this does that they've forced to close down so they can enforce the rubbish official version.

And comment 39 (I think) hits the nail on the head by saying they need proper android development

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#8
xzyk

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I work in the public sector and I can vouch for the fact that Apple products are preferred. However, from a business point of view, and before we forget business exists for one reason only, i.e. making profit, they ignore android at their peril. Don't take my word for it google any statistic you care to find about market share of android vs ios and try and find one which doesn't show android dwarfing ios ! Don't want to start one of those android vs ios discussions here simply pointing out what independent (all of them) statistics are saying and also taking a business prospective not a technology one.

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#9
mrrog

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And the radio player, not so sure about separating out radio anyway but the buggers developed the iOS app first and left android to whistle, haven't even given us a timeline.

Entirely agree with the above post, the sooner the beeb is privatised is better, news will be to a higher standard as well, don't want news from my auntie.

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#10
Voxpop2011

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I really can't get excited by watching video on such a tiny screen, especially if it is on a relatively low spec device with tinny sound.

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Due to a terrible miscalculation of scale the entire battle fleet was accidentally swallowed by a small dog.
 


#11
Pondlife

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Entirely agree with the above post, the sooner the beeb is privatised is better, news will be to a higher standard as well, don't want news from my auntie.


I presume that's a joke.

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