BBC iPlayer now available on Windows Phone 8, but Windows Phone 7.5 version canned

Tech Digest news, Windows Phone 7, Windows Phone 7 apps, Windows Phone 8

iplayer-windows-phone-8.jpgIt’s been a long old wait, but the BBC iPlayer catch-up TV app is now available on Windows Phone 8 devices.

Rather than a ground-up build of the service, the Windows Phone 8 version of the app is actually a shortcut to the mobile optimised version of the website, alongside a live tile and the included BBC Media Player app needed to power playback.

The app is free and is available form the Windows Phone app store now.

However, despite months of preparatory development work, the BBC have been unable to put together a version for users of Windows Phone 7.5 handsets.

“Following our previous blog post some of you will be wondering what about Windows Phone 7.5?,” said Dave Price, Head of BBC iPlayer, Programmes and On Demand, BBC Future Media, in a BBC blog post.

“Over the last few months we have been working with Microsoft to launch iPlayer on both Windows Phone 8 and 7.5.

“Unfortunately, platform limitations with Windows Phone 7.5 have meant we’ve been unable to provide the same quality playback experience as on Windows Phone 8. This led to the joint decision not to make BBC iPlayer available on Windows Phone 7.5.

“Although this is disappointing, Windows Phone 8 currently make up the majority of all Windows Phones on the market and this number is expected to grow. I therefore hope more of you will get to enjoy BBC programmes on the go with iPlayer with Windows Phone 8 devices.”

In March this year 30% of all BBC iPlayer streaming requests came from mobiles or tablets (with 81 million requests in total), showing that on-the-go TV viewing is on the rise.

Are you a Windows Phone 7.5 user? Feel a bit shortchanged by Microsoft’s swift ditching of the OS and drop off in developer interest, or perfectly happy with the operating system and its app offerings? Fire off in the comments section below.

Gerald Lynch
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