BBC News, their Official App for keeping up with UK & Worldwide News plus in-story Videos
Jun 2, 2011 10:22 AM –
After a long wait, the BBC have finally released an official news application for Android, ‘BBC News’. Now you can access the top stories from the BBC, in addition to viewing in-story videos and even link directly to the live BBC News 24 channel. The app is free, easy to use and has a smooth uncluttered interface.
Tested on: HTC Desire HD
Pros & Cons:
- Read and watch BBC News on your Android device.
- Easy to use.
- Great scrolling between story feeds.
- Clear, bright interface.
- In-app videos.
- Link to live BBC News channel.
- Option to create your own topic feed.
- Ability to share articles.
- Ability to adjust font sizes.
- No widget available.
- Only able to view top stories in each section.
- Video playback is a little hit-and-miss.
The official BBC News Android app has finally arrived! The BBC took some time to produce their own apps, and usually after huge public demand to apps they finally appear. Previously, users had to wait what seemed like an age for them to introduce the BBC iPlayer application (an app that replicates their online service which lets UK users ‘catch-up’ on BBC programs they had missed online). This official app arrives with a host of features, but a few disappointments too.
The app itself is very easy to use and similar in layout to aggregators like Taptu and Pulse, the various lists appear in front of you and you can scroll left and right to view more article thumbnails. Tap on an article to open it and you have the ability to flick between full articles within this view.
A great feature is the inclusion of the ability to watch videos in individual articles. While I found the loading of these videos a bit of a gamble- sometimes I just got a white screen of nothing, when working the videos load quickly and are smooth to watch. There is also a link to watch the live BBC News channel through your phone. This, in a news app, is pretty cool.
Again like Taptu and Pulse, the BBC News app gives you the option to add your own topic feeds, albeit only from the news site itself. While these options are quite limited- you can only choose vague topic areas, for example ‘Sports’, ‘Politics’, etc. and you are unable to specify which sport, or which aspect of politics you want to be fed stories from- this is still a nice added feature.
There is a black bar at the bottom of each article screen which, when tapped, allow you to adjust the font size or share the story through the usual channels- email, SMS, social apps, etc.
Unfortunately there are a few problems with that app that really let it down. The video playback is occasionally a bit problematic- sometimes the screen just goes white and no video plays. The other annoyance is the fact that you can only view the top stories in each section. Anyone who has visited the actual website will know there are lots and lots of sections and regularly refreshed pages that you cannot access through the application. Being a big soccer fan, I like to view the soccer gossip pages- to see the latest rumours surrounding possible transfers, etc. However because I cannot choose this page- it is too specific- I am unable to view it in the application itself. Therefore the app is not like a full presentation of the BBC News website itself, but rather a restricted aggregation of only top stories in specific topics. For a great overview of news in topical, easy bite-size chunks the application is great, but unlike accessing the website itself in your browser, you cannot view the whole site in the application.
BBC News – In article view.
BBC News – In article view 2
BBC News – In article view 3
BBC News – In article view with video.
BBC News – Video view.
BBC News – In article video view 2
BBC News – Scrollable Feeds.
BBC News – Edit Topic Feed
BBC News – Select Topics.
BBC News – Settings.
BBC News – Help
Massively useful for people who like to keep up with BBC News stories. I have always liked the BBC for its news, so it’s great to finally have an official application. The various topics allow users to specify (although not enough in my opinion) your interest and new stories are added as they break. You can also adjust the update frequency to whatever suits you, receive new story notifications when they update.
Ease of Use:
Users familiar with apps like Pulse and Taptu will be at home using BBC News as the layouts are very similar. Simply scroll from side to side under each topic, or scroll down to see more topics. This creates a matrix of news thumbnails to view and navigate through.
Personally, I set the updates to occur every 6 hours so I find myself checking the application 2/3 times a day (this also helps save some battery power by not checking so frequently). I use other news apps too, but this is a great platform for BBC stories.
The interface is simple and branded significantly with BBC. It’s a quality application, despite the issues I have mentioned and viewing the stories are smooth, clear and fast.
Tags: Android App
, Android Apps
, AndroidTapp.com App Review
, bbc iplayer
, bbc news
, pulse news
, sky news
, UK News
Categorised in: News & Weather