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BBC Trust: 'iOS iPlayer app not prioritised over Android'

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The BBC Trust has ruled that iPlayer updates do not prioritise iOS.

In a document published online, the Trust said that it found no evidence to suggest iOS had been "unfairly favoured".

BBC iPlayer app screenshot

BBC iPlayer for iOS

BBC iPlayer app screenshot for Android

BBC iPlayer app for Android




A complaint in 2011 was brought to the watchdog's attention, suggesting that certain features were implemented on the iPhone operating system before Android - primarily the ability to download programmes offline.

However, the Trust argues that the "complexity and expense" of producing the app for Android was to blame for its delay. It also cited Android as "fragmented" compared to iOS, as it works on almost 4,000 devices from around 600 manufacturers.

To strengthen its argument, the Trust stated that both apps launched around the same time in April 2011 and had been "more or less" equal in cost.

It continued to say that the iOS app catered to "a demographic that was more likely, both in percentage terms and absolute numbers, to use BBC on-demand services".

"While the BBC must do all that is reasonably practicable to ensure that viewers can access its on-demand content in a range of convenient and cost-effective ways, this did not necessarily mean that it would always be expected to launch new features on different platforms simultaneously," the report added.

The panel concluded that it would "monitor progress" around the issue, as well as urging the BBC to stand by its commitment to introduce downloads to Android later this year in a "timely manner".

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