Apps from the BBC: The Beeb tells Neowin what (not) to expect

The British Broadcasting Corporation - affectionately known by many as The Beeb in the UK - is one of the most respected broadcasters in the world. BBC News has a global reputation for excellence, while BBC Sport demonstrated its extraordinary abilities with its coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Hundreds of millions of viewers and listeners enjoy BBC content every day across the globe, so it's not surprising that there's a great hunger for official BBC apps on mobile devices too.

The Corporation released its latest app for BBC Sport on the iPhone and iPod Touch in the UK this week (available now from iTunes), and confirmed that an Android version is also in development - but many device owners will be eager to know whether similar apps will be available for their smartphones, tablets and PCs.

A BBC spokesperson shared a few nuggets of info regarding Auntie's plans for app development with Neowin - and for those without iOS and Android devices, it's not all good news.

We asked whether the BBC has any plans to develop native apps for Windows Phone or for the soon-to-launch BlackBerry 10 platform. The BBC explains: "The Android and Apple platforms account for approximately 75% of the UK smartphone market. Apps are costly to develop and maintain and, as a publicly funded organisation, we have to prioritise our development around the areas and platforms where we will achieve the greatest reach of users at the lowest cost."

So while Windows Phone maintains such low market share - and until BB10 grows its installed user base to a reasonable level - don't expect to see any apps developed for either platform. There is hope though: "We will continue to monitor patterns of handset and OS popularity and shape the roadmap for our apps accordingly." The BBC has also recently relaunched the mobile version of its website, with a more intuitive and touch-friendly interface, to provide better access on those devices that don't have apps available.

But what of Windows 8 and Windows RT? Despite launching just a few months ago, there are already tens of millions of tablets and PCs out there with the new-generation OSes installed, and many broadcasters and content providers - including the UK's Channel 4, with its new 4OD app - have already launched apps for the platform. Sadly, the news here isn't good either: "We are always looking at new and existing platforms to bring BBC iPlayer to, but have no plans to launch a native app for Windows 8 mobile devices in the immediate future."

But there is one bit of good news to share, for Xbox 360 users: "We aim to introduce Live Restart on Xbox Live in the future", suggesting that this feature - which enables live streaming to be paused and rewound by up to 2 hours - is already in development.

While it's a shame for Windows 8, Windows Phone and BlackBerry users that there are currently no plans for the BBC to develop apps for these platforms, Android and iOS users have plenty to look forward as development of apps continues to focus around these popular ecosystems.

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