The most British of media institutions, namely BBC News, is now available for consumption via smartphone and tablet. Everything above Android 1.6 is compatible with the downloaded app, (a preview here) but unfortunately Android Honeycomb is off limits. Another thing to feel bad about: it’s UK only.
Don’t worry, an international version is on its way.
The app was officially announced on the BBC blog the other day. Here’s a good chunk of explanatory text (thank you, Anthony Sullivan):
“Nowhere is immediacy and accessibility of content more important than with news. We witnessed a 78% increase in users of our mobile browser service on the day news broke of the death of Osama Bin Laden.
An increasing proportion of our audiences now access BBC News via mobile devices. This trend isn’t new – licence-fee payers have been able to access BBC News on mobile phones through their browsers for around nine years – but it’s increasing. We have responded by delivering BBC News Online to devices via apps to ensure a simple, intuitive user experience, with opportunities for personalization. ”
“The app achieved around 57,000 downloads in the week commencing 2 May driven by the Osama Bin Laden story – a clear testimony to audiences’ appetite for a higher quality, on-the-move experience. And, the app is a trusted bookmark during moments of national and international significance, attracting a record 540,000 UK users around the Bin Laden story, and 376,000 UK users on the day of the Royal Wedding. ”
The BBC News APP comes chock full of easy functionality. Users can scroll between video and text content, update themselves through the interactive news ticker, and of course share interesting tidbits via email or social networking. It’s a complete package for lovers of prim British accents reporting what’s going on around the world.
The BBC News App has been available since the start of the month and–as mentioned above–currently enjoys a solid downloads track record.