BBC iPlayer, news and sport apps: Beeb on your blower

Auntie is planning three new apps this year, serving up news, sport and the iPlayer directly to your mobile

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm

The Beeb is coming to your blower -- the BBC has announced three mobile phone apps, to be launched this year. Like Sky, the BBC will offer separate news and sport apps. It will also serve up a dedicated iPlayer app.

The apps will be available on assorted mobile platforms: iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Symbian and Palm's webOS were all mentioned. More apps will follow the initial three, perhaps offering access to niche BBC content such as its education services, or Bargain Hunt. We reckon big-name brands such as  EastEnders or Doctor Who could even have their own apps.

It's not yet clear whether these will be paid apps or whether the BBC's licence fee-funded nature will make them free, or what the international licensing issues will be for overseas users.

Eric Huggers, Auntie's director of future media and technology, delivered the news in a keynote speech at Mobile World Congress. He shared the stage with Spotify boss Daniel Ek, although there was no comparable announcement from the music-streaming service.

BBC app

The apps serve up BBC content with thumbnails that are scrolled sideways, rather than the vertical scrolling favoured by most iPhone apps. The first BBC app will be the news, arriving in the iPhone App Store in April. Further apps and versions for other phones won't be far behind.

For the current catch-up options, take a look at our comprehensive round-up of every device that currently supports iPlayer