New-look BBC site lets you roll your own mobile homepage
The BBC has launched a new mobile site for beta testing, which allows you to customise your layouts and content, including iPlayer
The BBC has launched a new mobile homepage for members of the public to test out. If you want to, you can stick iPlayer right at the top of your homepage, so you can catch up with your radio and television, right alongside your news, entertainment, sport, weather and other BBC content.
Currently in beta, the new page draws on the full BBC site's slick customisation options, allowing you to choose which content you want to show, and tweak your settings for your local area. Where the main Web site allows you to drag different elements around to create your own personalised site, the mobile version now allows you to order different elements, so you can see music, news, sport, TV and radio, or any other BBC mobile content, in the order you want.
You can also enter your location to get local weather, TV schedules or news stories.
Supported browsers and handsets include the iPhone and iPod touch, Google Android, anything running Opera, high-end Nokias, Sony Ericsson and Samsung phones running version 3.3 and later of the NetFront browser, and some BlackBerries with NetFront 4.2 and later.
Customising your homepage is straightforward, although a little time-consuming. Instead of the slick drag-and-drop homepage modules on the full-fat site, you have to move each unit up or down a list of eight items, one tap at a time. The page refreshes in between each tap, so, if you want iPlayer at the top, you've got six taps and six refreshes to face. It's quicker to first delete anything you don't want, then reorder the rest. Removed items are simply moved to a separate list, so you can restore them easily.
You can go straight to the wonder that is iPlayer on your phone. Although you can browse the catch-up service, you will need Wi-Fi to actually see the latest happenings at the Sterling Cooper advertising agency on Madison Avenue.