BBC News app arrives on iPhone

Today the BBC received approval from the BBC Trust to create apps for mobile devices such as Apple iPhone/iPad and Google Android. Wasting no time, the corporation published a BBC News App on the App Store today.   

But what is the point? Is this really better than simply going to the web site:

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It is worse in some ways, because there is a disconnect between content locked in an app, and content on the world web web where it can be linked and searched. There is also an argument over whether the publicly funded BBC creating apps for luxury mobile devices, instead of investing in more public content, though I’d imagine that the cost of creating the app is small relative to the cost of producing the content. The BBC no doubt feels under pressure to keep up with competitors such as Sky News, which already has an app available.

The BBC app becomes more interesting if you click the Live button, though you need a good connection, preferably wi-fi:

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The app becomes a news-dedicated iPlayer for iPhone; a full iPlayer is also promised. A nice feature; though even this can be done on the web as long as you use Apple’s QuickTime format rather than not-invented-here Adobe Flash.

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1 comment to BBC News app arrives on iPhone

  • I have a similar problem with the “Metro” application. I run the iPhone version on my iPad and it mirrors the paper (which is what I want). But they launched their official iPad app and it’s just a web site. So I now have two “Metro” apps on my iPad with the same icon – the one I WANT to run (intended only for the iPhone) and the one THEY want me to run which I don’t like. The only down-side to running the iPhone app on the iPad (it zooms just fine taking advantage of the resolution) is that when you double-tap to enlarge it takes you off to somewhere off the left hand side of the page so you have to faff around swiping it to get the bit you wanted on screen.

    So far I think that here in the UK “The Times” have done the best job on “putting a web newspaper” onto the iPad. I like their different navigation options, the way they put multiple photo’s into a single newspaper slot that can be swiped through, and the occasional video. Yet the iTunes app store reviews are all dreadful. Just don’t get it!