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BBC iPlayer comes to Windows Phone smartphones

BBC decides on web-based iPlayer for Windows Phone instead of native app

HTC Windows Phone 8

The BBC has announced it will bring its infamous iPlayer catch-up service to Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system for smartphones.

BBC iPlayer will be coming to Windows Phone but don't head off to the app store just yet. The firm plans to allow a web-based version of the service to be accessed via a Live Tile rather than developing a native app.

"By wrapping the iPlayer mobile website together with its proprietary Media Player plug-in, the broadcaster can offer access to streamed feeds of its material but will still not be able to let users download programmes for offline use - as is the case with its iOS app." said the Beeb.

iPlayer will be available for Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 8 devices and comes after BlackBerry 10 launched with the service, albeit a web-based one also. The BBC has announced no launch date for iPlayer on Windows Phone

The BBC also said that it will continue to work on iPlayer for Android after critism that doesn't match up to its iPhone and iPad counterpart. The goal, according to David Price who heads up the iPlayer team, is for "feature parirty" between the two leading mobile operating system.

This means the ability to download content for offline viewing will be coming to Android. Price has blamed Android's complexity and fragmentation for the delay.

BBC iPlayer has been one of the big names to be absent from Windows Phone, which now has around 130,000 apps available. Other big name apps including Dropbox and Instagram are still missing.

Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.

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