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The BBC has just unveiled a new iPlayer Radio app for iPhone, with an Android version coming soon.

It adds to the BBC’s portfolio of mobile apps and extends the iPlayer brand which has been a huge success for the broadcaster.

The BBC received deserved praise for its Olympic mobile app that gave users access to a huge range of video content and news from every event at the Games.

The iPlayer Radio app therefore has a tough act to follow, but how does it stack up...

Usability

The homepage allows you to access the full range of BBC radio stations by spinning a touchscreen dial.

It’s a great way of scrolling through the various options, with each giving the information for what’s on now and next. If you turn the phone on its side you can access the full schedule for the next three days as well as the previous week's shows.

Once you have selected the station you want to listen to the live stream loads very quickly and continues to play even when you navigate through different tabs.

However one problem I found was that the stream dropped out fairly regularly, which may have been an issue with my Wi-Fi connection but was very frustrating nonetheless.

           

Also, when it did drop out the app didn’t automatically try to reconnect. You have to navigate back to the ‘Station’ tab and press play again – would it be that difficult to make it reconnect automatically?

If you want to listen to an old show, there are tabs that let you search for the programme by name or browse the BBC’s selection of podcasts.

Alarm clock

The alarm clock feature is fairly self explanatory but also extremely handy.

For the alarm to work it has to keep the device ‘awake’ so you can only really use it while you are charging the phone, but this probably won’t be a problem for most users.

           

The app also has a night mode that displays a big clock and has an adjustable brightness setting.

The alarm clock is a neat feature and means that users can have the pleasure of waking up to Nick Grimshaw every morning...

Conclusion

In iPlayer Radio the BBC has come up with a simple but useful app that is a good addition to its mobile portfolio.

My one major concern was that the live stream would drop off while you navigated around different tabs or searched for other shows but this isn’t the case.

As a radio listener it’s great to have access to all the BBC’s content in a dedicated app, and the additional alarm clock function is a nice touch that gives people a reason to use the app on a daily basis.

David Moth

Published 10 October, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1676 more posts from this author

Comments (1)

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Mark1

iPlayer radio is looking awesome. Will it be available on USA too?

over 3 years ago

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