BBC

Top Gear fans are now able to put their driving skills to the ultimate test by racing the Stig on Windows Phone. Launching globally, Race The Stig is today available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Those of you who may be familiar with the endless runner concept will quickly familiarise themselves with Race The Stig. The title is a 'endless racer', taking players through some of the most iconic Top Gear locations.

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The BBC has released an update for its iPlayer app on the Windows Phone Store. The popular client enables you to watch and enjoy your favourite shows in a catch-up and on-demand like experience. There's no public change log, but we're got you covered. The latest version (1.2) introduces a few new features, so pop on past the break to find out what's new in the release. 

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Children In Need is the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) charity for the UK. Kicking off in 1980, the charity has raised more than £600 million for disabled children and young people. The highlight of each year is a "telethon" aired on BBC One with celebrities and well-known faces.

Along with the telethon and other activities, an official Children In Need single is also selected. This year it's Ellie Goulding's turn with How Long Will I Love You (originally performed by The Waterboys). Why is this news? The official music video is shot entirely with a Nokia Lumia 1020.

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CBeebies (www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/) is a popular kids brand used by the British Broadcasting Corporation that specialises in airing shows and media for the younger audience. Should you be taking full advantage of Kid's Corner in Windows Phone 8, you'll love the latest game to hit the store - CBeebies Playtime. Perfect for the little ones, Playtime enables them to enjoy light-hearted content while on the go. There's also a secret area for grown-ups too.

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The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) has been accused by Android owners that the corporation is biased against Google's mobile platform with its iPlayer TV catch-up service. If you thought it was just the Windows Phone community battling hard against the BBC to get a worthy iPlayer solution available, you'd be wrong. That said, the BBC Trust has found that the corporation has not been biased against competing platforms to iOS.

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The British Broadcasting Corporation has released its catch-up service on Windows Phone with the iPlayer now available for Windows Phone 8 consumers. The app enables users to check out shows they may have missed the past seven days across the BBC channels. As we've covered previously, the BBC hasn't developed a native client as such, but has opted to start with a mobile web wrapper of its website.

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Lawrence Gripper, the well-known developer behind the BBC News Mobile app for Windows Phone, has published a new entry on his personal blog. The news isn't good, folks. Gripper details the removal of the app from the Windows Phone store, which is likely due to the entanglement between himself and the BBC. This announcement follows on from the hold on development.

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This is not a drill. I repeat, this is not a drill. The BBC has announced, in a recent blog post about mobile and the iPlayer service, that a Windows Phone app is well on the way. Consumers who reside within the UK will soon be able to enjoy content on the catch-up service. This will prove to be a huge boost for Windows Phone as a top media provider looks to support the platform. So when can we expect to see the app arrive?

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Igneous Software, the developer behind the collection of BBC Radio apps and Podcast Lounge is going through some rough times with the BBC. We've previously touched on how complications have arisen with the British corporation surrounding business licensing. This has led the developer to rename and alter apps available for Windows Phone to prevent the requirement for said solutions to be pulled.

We've now received further information detailing changes Igneous Software is required to make to its BBC Radio apps.

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Just recently the BBC released yet more new apps for Apple’s iPhone and announced plans for more support of Google Android devices. The corporation has stated publically the need to make its content available to all in as many ways as possible but has persistently refused to develop a single app for Windows Phone. They now state they have no plans to support a Windows 8 app too.

The BBC have often cited incompatibilities in their chosen media formats with Windows Phone and the relatively small market share for the platform as being reasons not to make an app. In the latest statement from the ‘beeb’ it’s also apparent that market share and file types aren’t the only thing stopping them developing for Microsoft operating systems. Reason and logic don’t seem to come into play.

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BBC Podcast Lounge, now known as Podcast Lounge, has been updated for Windows Phone. The app, now bumped to version 1.4 is a well rated podcast player that enables users to stream and download shows from a number of sources, including the BBC.

The British corporation has long been shy of Microsoft's mobile platform with lack of iPlayer support, as well as podcast, radio and other media. Consumers have relied on third-party developers to bring support to the platform.

Speaking of which, Windows Phone itself lacks full podcast support for a number of markets, which this app helps address. Igneous has proven their worth by offering such functionality and opening up content for those who have no official means to do so. 

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BBC News Mobile for Windows Phone, developed by Lawrence Gripper, is a highly rated app that absorbs all the headlines from BBC's news division and presents it in an aesthetically pleasing interface. We've continuously praised the work that Lawrence has poured into the project, but he's showing no signs of halting anytime soon. Version 4 is well on its way.

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O iPlayer, Where Art Thou?

The on again, off again saga of iPlayer for the BBC and Windows Phone has been toying with anxious readers for months now. At first the Inquirer said it was coming and then Pocket-lint effectively squashed that rumor just three days later, leaving consumers with little hope for an effective media solution.

The hope was always that Nokia would some how come in and save the day for Windows Phone users but alas, that does not seem to be the case. One of our readers, Paul A., emailed the BBC asking for information as to their reasons for not supporting Windows Phone. Surprisingly, Daniel Danker who is the General Manager of Programmes & On Demand for the BBC gave a very thorough response to Paul’s question as to why there is no Windows Phone support.

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During last night’s WPUG meet in central London, we got a chance to catch up with Richard from Igneous Software. BBC Podcast lounge is a must-have app for those that want to catch up on all the amazing and free content from Auntie Beeb. Richard was able to give me a quick walkthrough of the latest update that is currently in testing.

The current app is great but with this update, Richard looks to be taking a logical and very welcome next step. From 1.4 onwards users will be able to subscribe to podcasts. Great news, even better is that it offers options to keep up to 3 podcasts of each. That is very similar to the options presented on the Zune desktop client. Whilst the Zune music hub in Windows Phone is great, it’s not possible to subscribe to podcasts or even browse and download manually. The only way to get podcasts on your device through Zune is to first connect to the computer, subscribe to the podcast and then sync with your phone, once that’s done it will grab them. It’s a far from convenient solution, something better needed to be found.

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Igneous Software, not content with making their excellent BBC Podcast Lounge are surely striving for greatness with their upcoming launch of the BBC Radio Player. We had previously reported on their plans but were finally able to get hands on demo of it at last night’s Windows Phone User Group (WPUG).

The new player will improve on the previous version in a number of ways. The UI has been updated to closely follow that of the official apps on other platforms. Igneous have taken great care to replicate the colours and visual cues from the iPlayer whilst taking advantage of Metro’s inherent slick delivery of typography and graphics.

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The folks at Igneous Software, the wizards behind some superbly crafted Windows Phone apps, have been busy working on updates for the popular (and highly rated) BBC Podcast Lounge. In an official blog post, Richard Castle goes into depth about what the team has been up to, namely adding auto-subscribing and downloading for favourite programmes in BBC Podcast Lounge 1.4, which is just about to go into testing.

There's more though. The team have also been looking at new project ideas, one that they've lightly touched on in the article. Many of us (who reside in the UK) deeply desire iPlayer streaming functionality on Windows Phone from the BBC, but we're still yet to see anything. Before you get overexcited and imagine Igneous Software developing an actual iPlayer on-demandTV app, unfortunately this is still not yet possible. 

Instead the team have been busy looking at a potential BBC iPlayer Radio app. A working prototype is currently being played with that enables the user to reliably stream the previous seven days worth of programming on any BBC national (and regional) radio station. Want to know something more amazing? This functionality is one step further than what's present on both the iPhone and Android, which offer only national stations. It's that much sweeter indeed.

So we've got the BBC Radio Player and BBC Podcast Lounge app maturing nicely with frequent updates and more functionality being introduced, and now we've got a potential BBC iPlayer Radio app on the horizon. Once they're content with how the BBC Podcast Lounge is heading, the team will look at turning this concept into a feasible app to launch on the Marketplace.

Keep posted for more updates and be sure to check out Igneous Software apps that are already available. We also interviewed Richard Castle, which is well worth the read.

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