Dear BBC, Where are my iPhone apps please?

I’m going to contradict myself here as I generally don’t consider myself a huge fan of the BBC, however I am awaiting their official iPhone applications as I do tend to rely heavily on their news and sport reporting. The thing with the BBC is that I know I’m not going to like everything they do or say (sometimes I feel they’re concerned with making news instead of just reporting it), but the quality of the service is always spot on from TV to Radio to Web.

So where exactly are these long awaited iPhone apps? They were due out in April for iPhone, followed by Android and Blackberry apps shortly after but as yet I can’t find anything.

It seems that earlier in the year there was opposition from the Newspaper Publishers Association who are concerned that the BBC will be intruding the app market. There are a number of other UK media groups who already have free and paid iPhone apps from ITN, The Guardian, The Telegraph and Sky, of which I have a few and use them all in conjunction with each other. From a user’s perspective, the release of the BBC app isn’t going to make me get rid of my other apps, especially the ones I paid for. However I can see how easy it will be for new users to head straight for the free BCC apps.

So the latest I hear is that a football/sports app will be released first ahead of the World Cup – though they need to get their skates on as it’s only a few weeks away. The news app will follow after this.

It also seems that a dedicated iPlayer app will be released.  Though the use of iPlayer and an iPlayer apps does raise some questions that I think the BBC need to answer. As a TV license payer, I feel that I am entitled to watch iPlayer through the web and phone as an extension of my TV service. However those without licenses also have access to exactly the same content. Surely the BBC needs to get this in check and either make the iPlayer a registered service or enforce subscription for those wanting to watch without a TV license.

So lets see what the next few weeks bring. I’ll be pleased if the apps are released, but if not I think I’ll be able to survive with what I’ve already got 🙂

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