The BBC’s internet tech boss has put together a long blog post updating the nation on the corporation’s Android plans, promising, among other things, to make “feature parity” with the iOS version of the TV app a key goal for Android iPlayer. So we’ll finally get programme downloading.
As well as that, the BBC will soon introduce a variable bitrate option, allowing those on faster connections and using big screens to enjoy higher resolution videos. Here’s a chunk from the BBC’s Android newsflash:
For devices with bigger screens and capable of advanced playback we’ll enable high quality video encodes along the lines of those on iOS devices. Since we can’t rely on adaptive bitrate yet we aim to start at a higher quality encode for larger screens and a lower quality encode for smaller ones.
We will also take network into consideration so we’ll start with higher quality on WiFi and 4G networks and lower quality over 3G. These improvements start before Christmas with a new high quality media encode when using WiFi.
And yes, the BBC says the radio part of the app will soon work in the background and with the screen turned off. Hooray.
The Android update is well worth a read, with the broadcaster highlighting how quickly 7″ Android devices have taken off — the Kindle Fire HD and the Nexus 7 are both in the top five bits of Android hardware when it comes to accessing the service.