BBC iPlayer app launches on Windows Phone 8

With 145,000 apps in the Windows Phone Store, many of the big gaps that remain in the platform's app offering are now being filled. While some big names remain out of reach for now, Windows Phone 8 users in the UK have much to celebrate, with the launch of the official BBC iPlayer app. 

Earlier today, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore let the cat out of the bag: 

Back in March, the BBC confirmed that it was working on a Windows Phone iPlayer app. The wait is now over with the BBC's announcement of the new app which, in the BBC's words, offers a "shortcut to the mobile optimized website, live tile and media player". 

The app will be exclusively available to users in the United Kingdom, as domestic programming and other content created by the BBC is funded by a television 'licence fee' paid by UK viewers. While an international, commercial version of iPlayer has launched on other platforms, there's no indication of when Windows Phone users outside of the UK might be able to gain access to BBC content through the new app. 

Sadly, despite promising that the app would also be made available for Windows Phone 7.5 users, that version won't materialise as hoped. The BBC's Dave Price - head of iPlayer, Programmes and On Demand, BBC Future Media - explains: "Unfortunately, platform limitations with Windows Phone 7.5 have meant we've been unable to provide the same quality playback experience as on Windows Phone 8. This led to the joint decision not to make BBC iPlayer available on Windows Phone 7.5."  

Those of you in the United Kingdom with Windows Phone 8 devices can download the new BBC iPlayer app from the Windows Phone Store now. 

Source: @JoeBelfiore / BBC Internet Blog | Nokia image via Joe Belfiore; screenshots via BBC Press Office

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