The BBC have re-launched their android iPlayer app today, introducing a number of new features that allow you to download TV content for the first time on this platform. The download function is set to be available across a raft of Android devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S3, S4 and the seven inch Tab 2. It’ll also be available on the HTC One and a range of Nexus devices, including both the 2012 and 13 versions of the Nexus 7 as well as the Nexus 4 and 10. If you’re device is not currently supported, the BBC have confirmed that they are working to bring support for more devices and are currently working to eradicate some bugs on other devices. You can pick-up more info via the BBC blog, and we’ll keep you posted about developments on BurnTech.TV.
iOS users have been able to download content for quite some time now, however the BBC have been having prolonged difficulty in trying to deliver the same level of service for their Android customers. However, the introduction of the new features on their android app now means that the roles have been reversed, with Android users now having a number of useful features that iOS users don’t benefit from.
Any iOS user who has tried to download content will have encountered the main and most noticeable drawback; you can’t watch shows whilst the content downloads, as the download becomes the prominent window in the app. Android users can avoid this though, with their downloads happening passively in the background whilst they continue viewing shows.
Once downloaded, the content will be stored on your device for up to one month. However, once you click play on any content for the first time, you then have to watch the entire show within a 7 day window. This download service is not thus a way to gain ownership over the content, in effect the BBC are simply renting the content to you at no cost (accept your licence fee).
The app allows you to select the download quality, with different defaults on different mobile devices. On tablets, the app will automatically set to download in the highest quality possible, due to the higher likelihood that you’ll be downloading over wi-fi rather than crunching your 3/4G data allowance. As opposed to ‘high quality’, the app also features ‘standard’ and ‘high’, with the quality setting naturally affecting the time taken to download the content.
The new version of BBC iPlayer is available to download on Google Play now.