The BBC released version 2.0 of the BBC iPlayer app for iPad/iPhone today – for the first time you can now download TV programmes to watch later.
Previously the app only let you watch streaming video – if you weren’t online (preferably via wi-fi) you were out of luck.
The new iPlayer app lets you download BBC TV (not radio) programmes directly to your iOS device and keep them for up to 30 days – wherever you want to watch them, whether or not you have a Wi-Fi or 3G signal.
This is a welcome improvement as it means you can load up an iPad etc with hours of TV programmes to watch whilst travelling or on holiday etc where internet access is unavailable. It also means you can take your iOS device abroad and watch programmes you downloaded before leaving – iPlayer streaming is only available within the UK.
Although it’s a little sad to go on holiday abroad if you’re just going to spend the whole time watching TV from the UK The BBC press release says that “The new mobile downloads feature is initially available on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices and will come to Android devices soon”.
To use the new download feature:
- press the Download option on the TV programme you want to save – it will be added to your download queue
- when you are next connected to Wi-Fi, open the iPlayer app and the programmes in your queue will automatically start downloading to your iOS device
You can add multiple programmes to download at the same time to fill up your device ready for watching later.
Mobile BBC iPlayer is popular – according to the BBC “In July alone, there were 30 million requests for iPlayer TV programmes via a mobile or tablet, an increase of 142% year on year”.
The new BBC iPlayer app is available from iTunes app store here – UK only.
If you already had the iPlayer app installed you’ll be prompted to update it to the latest version 2.0