The BBC iPlayer will reflect on the year 2012 as a very successful one for their iPlayer catch-up service, but the work does not stop to continue improving the service, as the Android version of the video hub recieves a series of updates.
Planned as part of a ‘three-tier’ development structure that will be started by Christmas, the improvements will mainly enable enhanced video streaming on tablet computers and smartphones backed by the Google Android operating system, currently in version 4.2 (Jelly Bean).
The main aim of this is said to be reaching ‘parity’ between iOS and Android iPlayer apps, with ‘fragmentation’ of videos being the key issue on the Google platforms, as a study group looks into the devices that need the most improvements by sorting specific products into ‘classification bands’.
A BBC blog post on the matter read: “Since the fragmentation on Android requires more work than a single implementation on iOS, we’ve also made investments in engineering so Android and iOS can deliver at broadly the same pace. The upcoming BBC iPlayer release on Android introduces an updated UI that provides the foundations for the team to build future features. In addition you’ll find you can now listen to radio shows in the iPlayer app with your screen turned off while answering email or using other applications on your Android device. Into 2013 we’ll prioritise the most popular Android devices so we can deliver the best experience for the biggest audience.As you can see, this is just the beginning.”
While it is unclear if any other changes will occur, will the BBC iPlayer’s Android enhancements give a better video quality that leads to an overall better service for users on the products?