The BBC have updated their iPlayer app to suit the iPad, fresh to UK shores, and the Flash-free tablet can now stream TV and radio via its wireless connection. Where the previous version required Flash support in order to stream to a mobile device, the updated iPlayer gets a finger-friendly interface and iPad-friendly codec.
The simple UI has tabs for TV and radio, together with search functionality, and you can also view the latest highlights, the last show you played, and which titles are new to iPlayer. Meanwhile TV and radio are sorted into channels – such as BBC 1 or Radio 4 – as well as categories and “most popular”.
Digging into each channel brings up a list of shows sorted by date of broadcast, and then each show has programme info and the ability to see similar titles. Settings are limited to bandwidth choices – high or normal – and a parental lock, and in the high quality setting and viewed over WiFi the playback was smooth and crisp.
The only notable omissions we’ve spotted are bookmarking support and a full-screen mode: exit playback and then reopen the show and it’ll start again from the beginning, while viewing iPlayer in Mobile Safari leaves you stuck with the address bar. Still, they’re minor faults, and the BBC’s use of “bigscreen” suggests they have plans for iPlayer beyond Apple’s new tablet.