Wednesday, 31 October 2012

BBC iPlayer: Two Apps, One Operation

For all the 4.1 Jelly Bean faithful, you have had to battle with the loss of Flash player. You thought you wouldn't need it anyway but then we couldn't catch up on our terrestrial TV. There was ways to get around it with downloading from a browser and having to use Firefox beta but it never worked as well as the flash based apps. But for all the fans of BBC, we have an option through apps. Not one app, but you need two.
You have to go the Play Store and download BBC iPlayer AND BBC Media Player to catch up and stream your TV. I know that I should applaud them for their innovation and that the have released an option for the people who are using Jelly Bean. But I am annoyed at how the apps work and how slow these apps have taken to be released. Adobe has announced their withdrawal from the mobile platform in July and the flagship Jelly Bean tablet (nexus 7) has been around since July too.
Why is two apps so annoying? Well, what I liked about the old iPlayer app was that I could see what is recommended and if there was any older or newer episodes in the series whilst the video was playing. This is not in the new set up. You have to exit the media player, then enter the page you were on in the iPlayer app. This has little effort, but it is annoying when you look back and then when you go back to the media player, you loose your place in the video and you have to wait again for it to load and buffer. This is so frustrating that I have stopped using this app and have been using the desktop version on my chromebook and the iPlayer section on my Sky+HD box.
Other channels who need an app that works on Jelly Bean is ITV, channel 4 and 5. Please get working on your Android presence. If you want to see what other Nexus 7 users think of this, look on the Google Play store.
This is more of a rant than a review so normal app of the week review will still be coming next week. My final words to the BBC. Not all tablet users use an iPad, work on your Android experience so you do not burn out your viewing market.
Just a quick apology to the international readers. If you want iPlayer in your country, use a VPN server/app. A good one is TunnelBear VPN.

Have you used this app set up? Do you use a Jelly Bean device? Have you used this on a phone set up?
Please comment below on what you think.

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