BBC launches improved iPlayer for Android, will steadily increase quality in 2013

The BBC has been fairly regularly updating its iPlayer for Android app, with a release having come out in October, and now another update having just been rolled out that adds new support and better image quality. Rather than just push out a new update and call it a day, however, BBC went on to state in the announcement that Android is "extremely important," and that it will be rolling out a series of regular updates to improve the player's quality and performance.

The image above represents the previous and new versions of iPlayer for Android, with the previous version being demonstrated on the left and the new version being demonstrated on the right. The improvement in video quality is very noticeable, and is the result of new video encoding that reduces artifacts. The new version of iPlayer for Android supports Jelly Bean 4.2, has improved video quality when streaming over Wi-Fi, the design has been tweaked a bit, and the channel BBC Alba has been added.

Says BBC, "When we launched, seven inch Android tablets weren't driving significant usage. Fast forward three months and the Kindle Fire HD and the Nexus 7 are now both firmly in the top five Android devices for BBC iPlayer and the BBC Media Player. The Android platform is extremely important to the BBC and our audience and engineering for it requires an ongoing commitment."

The company then goes on to state its overall goals for iPlayer, which encompass improved video playback, feature parity between the iOS and Android apps, and support for multiple screen sizes. Improvements will start being implemented before Christmas, with one of the first plans being to increase quality on 4G networks and decrease quality on 3G networks. More updates will be pushed out in 2013, ultimately resulting in an app far more refined than what is currently available.

[via Android Community]