BBC has announced that it will roll out Live Restart to its mobile and tablet iPlayer apps on Android and iOS. Live Restart was already available for desktop users and has been since the London 2012 Olympics. The feature recently arrived on connected TVs too and can be accessed from the Red Button+ found on a wide range of TV sets and via YouView and Virgin TiVo.
Dan Taylor-Watt, Head of iPlayer at BBC Digital, said:
“I am delighted to announce that we'll shortly be rolling the feature out to our Android and iOS mobile and tablet apps. Our most recent app update introduced the ability to pause and rewind live TV and you'll soon be able [to] jump back to the start of a programme on your mobile or tablet with a single tap.”
While announcing Live Restart coming to mobile, the BBC also took the opportunity to discuss some other enhancements made to iPlayer. Aside from Live Restart, which will make watching content on mobile devices a lot easier, Taylor-Watt also mentions that the iPlayer website will get visual seeking “very soon”, with iPlayer TV and mobile apps getting the feature in “the coming year”. Visual seeking will allow users to preview a thumbnail above the progress bar, making skipping easier.
The other enhancement which was mentioned concerned HD playback. BBC says it will make HD (720p 50fps) the default for playback on computers and connected TVs which support Adaptive Bitrate (ABR). ABR will allow iPlayer to automatically adjust the quality of the video based on the bandwidth available.
This summer (June, July, and August), saw an increase of 37% of users watching live TV through iPlayer compared against the same period last year. With that, and BBC streaming live iPlayer-exclusive content, it is important that the media outlet BBC makes its apps as easy to use as possible.