Rating: No iPlayer support but Android tab bugfix
Those hoping to follow the Formula One motor race today [September 2nd 2012] at Spa Francorchamps on a Windows Phone 7.5 (W7 Mango) smartphone are going to be very disappointed. The Beeb (BBC) has told WP Central here in no uncertain terms that it has no plans to develop a version of its iPlayer app for the Microsoft mobile OS for the foreseeable future. What’s more the broadcaster is adamant than there’s a bug in the mobile Internet Explorer app which Microsoft hasn’t fixed despite knowing about it for at least 12 months. Fortunately, GoMobile News has stumbled across a bug fix for those with Android tablets who aren’t be served the iPlayer download correctly.WP Central quotes Daniel Danker, general manager of Programmes & On Demand for the BBC, quite extensively. He said, “There’s a bug in Windows Phone that prevents our standards-based media from being played on those [WP7] devices.”
He continued, “Microsoft has been aware of the bug for over a year now, and we’re hopeful they’ll address it (on Windows Phone 7 as well as Windows Phone so our Windows Phone audiences can access iPlayer.”
Sadly, GoMobile News has no idea what the bug which prevents streaming (by the BBC) is, so it’s going to be difficult to report when the bug is actually fixed.
Significantly, Danker attacks Microsoft for the fact that it is intending to change the tools needed to build a Windows Mobile app once again with the threatened release of Windows Phone 8 (WP8).
It’s interesting that ZDNet has reported here that after pressure from the BBC amongst others, Adobe has backtracked on its decision – made on August 15th 2012, to pull its Adobe Flash Player from Google Play.
You can still get it in the UK by visiting Google Play here. It comes with this warning, however.
“Note: Flash Player is no longer being updated for new device configurations. Flash Player will not be supported on any Android version beyond Android 4.0.x.”
Incidentally, during our research for this article we cam across this page on the BBC web site here. It offers the follow useful tips for those with Android tablets.
“Are you using an Android tablet?
You need to change a setting in the web browser on your Android tablet to access BBC iPlayer.
Go to your web browser settings and disable the ‘Request desktop site’ option. We will then recognise your device and serve the tablet version of BBC iPlayer.
If you cannot find a ‘Request desktop site’ option, look for a setting called ‘User Agent’ and disable the ‘Desktop’ option.”
This is one way to follow F1 live on your W7 Mango phone. You could listen to BBC Radio Five Live. There’s an app for that from Ingenious Software which you can find here.