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BBC opens up iPlayer downloads to Android smartphones and tablets

The BBC has scrapped its list of Android devices compatible with iPlayer downloads

New BBC iPlayer Android downloads

The BBC has decided to extend iPlayer download to almost every Android smartphone and tablet on the market.

So far, the download feature of the iPlayer Android app has been limited to select devices but it is now on offer to anyone running Android Ice Cream Sandwich, version 4.0, or later. This means 96 percent of Android users can now download BBC iPlayer content for offline viewing.

See also: BBC Three to be pulled but live on as online channel on iPlayer.

The BBC has stopped extensively testing devices to add them to the exclusive list of compatible devices with previously included mainly Google Nexus and Samsung Galaxy devices. It also had a handful of HTC and Sony handsets.

"We believe that the vast majority of devices will enjoy a great video downloading experience. However, with more than five thousand different phone, phablet and tablet models able to install the BBC iPlayer Android app, there are likely to be a number of devices that exhibit bugs concerning download behaviour." said the BBC.

It said the move was due to public demand and possible thanks to its Mobile Compatibility Programme. Read: Google Chromecast review: £30 dongle to rival Apple TV.

The only caveat is that should the BBC be aware of any major problems with a particular device and operating system combination, it may disable the feature while it looks into whether it can be fixed.

BBC iPlayer Android downloads

"We can’t promise that we will fix every issue that is brought to our attention (there may be device limitations that prevent us from doing so) but we will seek to address problems according to the complexity of the issue, as well as the UK popularity and the user numbers of the device itself." added the BBC.

A list of devices with the download feature disables due to problems is available here.

Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.

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