iPhone, iPod and iPad users who take advantage of the streaming capabilities the BBC’s iPlayer app now have a new feature to play with – the ability to download programmes and store them on your phone or tablet for up to a month. This is a move that will be welcomed by travellers as it opens up the chance of downloading a batch of programmes at home over a wifi connection to avoid racking up expensive data usage bills while away from home.
There is promise of an Android version of the updated app in the pipeline, but for the time being this is something that can only be enjoyed by iOS users. The newly added offline mode is a great addition to the app which had already been updated to allow for programmes to be streamed over a data connections as well as when connected to wifi. While the change is undoubtedly beneficial, it does come with limitations.
These should come as no surprise to anyone who has downloaded programming content from the BBC before. Once you have downloaded a particular viewed, it is yours to keep for 30 days. However, once you start watching it you then have just seven days to work through it. These far from hamper the usefulness of the app but there is the somewhat peculiar fact that while TV programmes can be downloaded for offline playing, the same is not true of radio shows.
The actual process of downloading is very simple. You can browse through the available programming in the usual way and tap the Download button that is now to be found adorning the pages of individual shows. This will add the currently selected programme to the download queue and the download will take place as soon as you are connected to a wifi network.
You can find out more and download a free copy of the app by paying a visit to the BBC iPlayer review page.