BBC launches in-house media player – brings Flash-free iPlayer to the Android masses
By Chris Wood
September 20, 2012
The BBC has released its own media player that allows for playback of its iPlayer catch-up service on Android mobile devices. Users of Google's mobile OS have previously been forced to rely upon Adobe's previously ubiquitous Flash platform to watch content from the broadcasting and entertainment provider.
Users can head to the Google Play store and download the initial version of the media player now. The BBC has already started using the platform on the iPlayer mobile site, and plans to expand it to all BBC mobile content in the future. Early opinions on the application are mixed, with some users bemoaning the video quality it provides.
The move comes after Adobe's decision last year to stop the development of the Flash player plug-in for mobile devices, instead choosing to focus on the increasingly popular HTML5 platform. This move has placed increased pressure on media content suppliers to provide a viable alternative.
Products running the latest version of the Android OS (4.1 Jelly Bean) use Google Chrome as their primary browser and do not ship with the stock Android browser (an application that still has Flash support). This means that flagship devices, most notably Google's Nexus 7 tablet, have been unable to access BBC video content, making the broadcaster's slow response to the decline of the Flash platform particularly notable.