Hands on: BBC iPlayer for iPad review

Licence fee payers rejoice, the apps are a-coming

BBC iplayer on ipad  main features

Unlike the web version of iPlayer which has worked on the iPad for some time, the official app also allows you to watch live BBC TV and radio channels.

iplayer ipad

To use this feature you need only select the 'Channels' option at the top of the screen and you'll be presented with a mini EPG containing all eight BBC stations. The radio section works in exactly the same way, but you only get access to nine live national and DAB-based stations - local stations are not available for the time being.

Radio streams load up and start playing a bit quicker than the TV streams - usually it takes two seconds or so, but that will depend on how fast your broadband connection is and the strength of your Wi-Fi signal.

Searching

As well as the thumbnails of the big shows in the three main sections, you can also browse and search by selecting the 'search & categories' option. Here you can either enter a search term or browse through shows in each category.

iplayer ipadiplayer ipad

iplayer ipad

It's all very slick and smooth, with no waiting time for search results to be returned.

Favourites

The Favourites section is also present. On every episode's preview screen there's an option to save to your favourites, so that you can go back and watch later. However, if the episode has been on the system for seven days, it'll disappear without a trace.

iplayer ipad

Air Play

We tested the app with Air Playto see if we could stream iPlayer to other devices.The audio worked well enough, but there was no video and no amount of tinkering could get it up and running. We think this may be a limitation of iOS and that iOS 4.3 may fix the problem.

Verdict

And that's about it. Licence fee payers can rest assured that the BBC has spent your money on an iPlayer app that oozes quality. We would love to have seen a download option so that you could take shows with you on the road, but that's our one minor gripe in what is otherwise a flawless app.