In less than 24 hours after its release, the BBC News application has shot up to #1 in the News category. It was a story about bureaucracy at its worst whenever the BBC Trust, BBC’s governing body, told their development team to shelve the iPhone application launch in the UK due to “uncertainty about the potential significance of whether [the BBC's plans] constitutes a change of service.” Now, five months later, its passed the test and can be downloaded free of charge to all UK iPhone – and iPad – users.
The universal application provides the latest news from around the globe, offering a live broadcast of the BBC News channel to UK residents. The channel runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but sadly does not work over 3G – despite a network charge warning appearing the first time you tap “Live”. The application’s design for iPhone is discerningly similar to Pulse News Mini, with its articles presented in boxes rather than in a list; the iPad edition resembling the widely successful Financial Times application with its category navigation. The pull down to refresh feature first seen in Tweetie is also in there. Rotating the application into landscape mode on the iPhone presents a uniquely designed news scroller.
The application also features a rolling news ticker and the ability to send a snapshot from your iPhone straight to the BBC team, but is missing a much-needed search feature. In addition, there’s no weather section to the application.
There is a certain amount of irony in the late launch of the British Broadcasting Company application, which has been available to download (with live radio instead of TV) in the US App Store since April. No word yet on whether BBC Sports and BBC iPlayer will be launched, both of which were discussed at the same time as the News application. The Sports application was planned to be released one month after the News application in mid-May.
You can read more on the BBC Technology page.
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