BBC iPlayer app for Android revamp will match iOS quality

Auntie bestows some Christmas love on the Android platform

Big changes are coming to the BBC iPlayer Android app as the Corporation looks to give Google phone users the same quality video and feature set enjoyed by iOS users

The BBC has announced plans to update its iPlayer app for Android, starting with improving the video quality over Wi-Fi within the next couple of weeks.

The first stage of the multi-layered plan to appease the Android community will come before Christmas "with a new high quality media encode" when accessing the all-conquering on-demand app through Wi-Fi networks, the BBC wrote on its blog.

This will result in smoother and crisper video streaming for users of the app.

Beyond the initial Wi-Fi tweak, Auntie has also revealed plans to alter its offering depending on the kind of Android devices viewers are tuning in on.

"Rather than use the one-size-fits-all approach that has worked on iOS we are grouping Android devices into classifications based on their capabilities," David Price wrote.

On high-powered devices and those with larger displays, like the Google Nexus 7, HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S3, the app will "enable high quality video encodes along the lines of those on iOS devices."

However, due to the fragmented nature of Android and the wide-range of size and quality, "devices which don't support advanced video playback we will have to deliver lower quality video streams."

The BBC also said it was planning to launch iPlayer Radio, mobile downloads and an improved UI to give it parity with the iOS app. It also said that Android fragmentation makes it more difficult to roll out features at the same time as it does for iOS.

Android 4.2 Jelly Bean support is also incoming, giving users a better experience on tablets like the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10

Via: TechRadar