APP OF THE DAY: BBC News (Android tablets)

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bbc-news-android-tablets.jpgThe BBC have updated their BBC News app for Android, adding optimisations that make it easier to use on large screen Android tablets.

Following on from the app’s initial launch back in May 2011, this version of the app is for tablets running Android version 3.0 or above. Shifting the UI around slightly to make better use of the extra screen real estate on offer, it works in both landscape and portrait views, working over both wi-Fi and 3G.

In a slightly confusing distinction (but an unavoidable one given the fragmentation of the Android ecosystem), this latest version of the BBC news app is only compatible with Android tablets 7.2 inches in size of bigger. In other words, if despite technically owning a tablet with the 7-inch HTC Flyer or original Galaxy Tab, the Beeb see you better suited to using the scaled up version of their smartphone app instead.

A further update, bringing the BBC News Channel with live video feeds, will land in the near future, while an international BBC Worldwide app is also set for release later this year.

“Growing numbers of people are accessing BBC News on mobiles and tablets,” said Kate Milner, mobile product manager for News and Future Media at the BBC.

“In an average week, the BBC News sites and apps are visited by around 9.7 million users worldwide on mobile and tablet devices. That represents about 26 per cent of the total.

“The BBC News product development team will be working on further mobile and tablet improvements over the coming year.”

The free, tablet-optimised app is out now on the Android Market. Click here to grab it.

Gerald Lynch