As the cream of the mobile world converges on Barcelona and Mobile World Congress, the BBC has quietly beefed up its mobile TV proposition with Android tablet support for its BBC News app.
The corporation says that growing numbers of people are accessing BBC News on mobiles and tablets, quoting figures stating that in an average week, the sites and apps are visited by around 9.7 million users worldwide on mobile and tablet devices. This represents just over a quarter of total visits to BBC News sites. Furthermore the BBC says that the number of people accessing BBC News on mobiles and tablets has tripled in the last year.
The new launch will complement the already successful BBC News app for Android smartphones which has been downloaded more than three million times globally since launching in 2011. It is designed to give an optimised experience for larger tablets – on devices running Android’s Honeycomb 3.0 operating system and above. Smaller 7.1-inch tablets will continue to receive the smartphone app. Users will be able to browse either in landscape or portrait with access to on-demand services over 3G or Wi-Fi networks. Intriguingly, and indicating what may be the first foray into potentially lucrative streams of revenue, the app for Android will be supported by advertising with Lexus on-board as launch partners in U.S. market.
“We’re committed to bringing the depth of BBC News’ journalism to users wherever and whenever they choose to consume it and we’re so pleased to be able to make content available on an even broader range of devices,” said James Montgomery, Controller of Digital and Technology, BBC Global News. Chris Davies, Acting MD for BBC.com added: “We understand that our audiences wish to access relevant, local and international news on an array of devices and are delighted that this now extends to Android tablet users.”