BBC app update: No downloads for iPlayer, News and Sport

The upcoming BBC News, Sports and iPlayer apps will be streaming only, with no content available to download. Goldarnit!

Luke Westaway Senior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway
2 min read

News just in: the upcoming BBC News, Sport and iPlayer apps for iPhone and other mobile platforms will not let you download and store any video content locally -- all video will be streaming only.

This is a hefty kick in the teeth for anyone hoping to store their favourite programmes on their mobiles for later viewing. A small consolation is the news that when using the BBC apps you'll be able to stream video content over 3G. Using iPlayer on a mobile device currently only works with a Wi-Fi connection -- streaming over 3G will hopefully make your BBC viewing much more mobile.

Within the News app, the BBC News Channel will stream live -- you'll see what appears on the telly as it happens. You'll also be able to stream audio and video clips embedded in news stories. Much like the Guardian app, news content will download to your device for offline reading, though video clips will not be available without a connection. The BBC Sport app will work in a similar fashion -- matches will be streamed live, or you can check out clips and replays embedded in news articles.

For a list of mobile platforms that will be supporting the BBC apps, check out our earlier news story.

The Beeb itself is also reporting today that the Newspaper Publishing Association (NPA) is calling for publishers to block the BBC's plans for mobile app development, saying, "Not for the first time, the BBC is preparing to muscle into a nascent market and trample over the aspirations of commercial news providers."

David Newell, director of the NPA, also said that the app market was, "a unique and narrow commercial space" that would be "distorted" by the BBC's presence.

In our experience however, the app market is anything but narrow, and we've seen many publications enjoying huge success in the mobile market -- just take a look at the Guardian, Independent, Daily Telegraph and Metro iPhone apps.

The addition of BBC News and Sport content hardly seems likely to change the state of play. But if you feel differently, the comments box is the place to give us a stern talking to.