BBC moves into mobile market with news app

The BBC is to launch a range of new smartphone applications starting with BBC News next month.

It follows a scramble among the major commercial journalism outlets to launch mobile phone apps in recent months.

The BBC said that the new app will will focus on providing quick access to the BBC’s existing journalistic content .

The BBC is also set to launch mobile phone apps for BBC Sport and for the BBC iPlayer, it revealed today.

Announcing the new products at Mobile World Congress, BBC director of future media & technology Erik Huggers said: “It’s been 12 years since the launch of BBC Online, but as media converges and technology accelerates, licence fee payers are increasingly using sophisticated handheld devices to access information. They tell us that they want to access the digital services that they have paid for at a time and place that suits them.

“Today’s announcement means that we are catching up with our audiences, and the same content that we broadcast on television and make available online can now be better enjoyed on the move.

“We are putting technology to work to create greater public value.”

The BBC said that the news app will provide access to all the BBC’s online news coverage as well as on-demand audio and video content.

It will be available from early April and “give users flexibility in how they personalise their news experience”.

The BBC said that new features will be added throughout the year and that it will initially be available for the iPhone with later versions for Blackberry and Google Android mobile phone operating systems.

The BBC said it will also work with other mobile phone providers to enable these applications on their mobile devices.

The BBC Sport application will in available for Iphones in time for the kick-off the 2010 World Cup this summer in South Africa, the BBC said.

Key features of the BBC News mobile phone application:

  • Breaking news, updated throughout the day, as well as video and audio
  • Personalisation, the ability to create a personal news experience
  • User-generated content, the ability to send comments and pictures direct to the newsroom
  • Blogs, analysis and commentary

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