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BBC launches iPlayer app for iPhone, adds 3G streaming

The BBC has introduced an iPlayer app for the iPhone and iPod touch, and introduced 3G streaming across all mobile networks.

The app is available to download in the Apple App Store and is compatible with iPod touch or iPhone 3GS and above, running iOS4.3 and above. The app is also compatible with Apple AirPlay, meaning devices running iOS5 can be connected to Apple TVs so iPlayer can be watched on TVs.

In a blog posting, David Madden, executive product manager for BBC iPlayer on mobile said: “We have worked closely with the network operators to introduce 3G streaming and create a great mobile experience so you can watch your favourite TV programme wherever you are or listen to the radio when you are out and about.”

The BBC said it had worked to improve the playback experience on portable devices by implementing HTTP live streaming with adaptive bitrate technologies. “This enables us to detect the strength of your Wi-Fi or 3G connection and serve the appropriate video quality. If you have low internet signal strength then the video stream will adapt down to suit your connection speed; if you move onto a stronger signal then the video stream will automatically improve in quality. The idea is to give you the best possible experience wherever you are,” said Madden said.

The BBC said an updated Android app would be released next year to enable 3G streaming. The iPlayer app has been installed on 1.2 million times on Android devices since it launched in February 2011.

In October, 16.5 million programmes were watched on iPlayer on mobile devices and tablets, up by 129% from the same time a year earlier.

Tags: BBC, iPlayer, UK