This free app allows Android users to gain access to BBC news content officially and has been launched for worldwide download. Originally only available through third party developers, it is now available directly from the BBC. It allows for live streaming of BBC News channels provided that the smartphone is version 2.2 and above and must run Flash in order to optimize the usage. It is possible to access the BBC News directly using either WiFi or 3G connections; this works on both non-Flash and Flash enabled Android phones as well.
Touted as the largest broadcasting corporation in the world, the BBC was established by a Royal Charter and is funded by the British government. Under the BBC umbrella, there are 8 national television channels and 10 national radio stations as well as a host of other local radio networks and a fully functional and updated website. Its focus is on public service broadcasting and it currently provides updated news reports in 32 languages worldwide. Originally the BBC News app was created for iPhones and it is only in 2011 that the app was expanded to include Android devices as well. Believed to be one of the most reliable and objective news networks in the world, the BBC News is a popular source of unbiased and current news in all niche areas.
Relatively easy to manage, this app provides an easy to scroll feature for straightforward navigation. The strongest feature of its interface is probably the ability to watch videos but the effectiveness of this very much depends on the bandwidth available via WiFi or 3G. If sufficiently supported by bandwidth, it is even possible to watch the news live on the BBC channel on your Android phone. Users are able to select topics that are of interest and lock these in on the main page so that only these topics are commonly displayed. One of the popular features for individuals managing with the smaller Android screens is the fact that font sizes can be adjusted for better reading. For individuals keen on remaining current, the ability to share knowledge via email, social networking platforms and even SMS is a great feature available on the interface.
A quick look at the main features of BBC News
- It’s free!
- Stories are arranged by category for easy selection
- It is possible to personalize the home screen by selecting categories that you prefer to view
- Videos are available using Flash or non-Flash enabled Android devices
- Easy scroll functionality for ease of navigation
- Sharing tools including the ability to post on social networks and share via email and SMS
- Live streaming available for Android 2.2 and above devices
- Font controls to manage text size for easier readability
Pros of BBC News
Once you have downloaded the app, it is just a simple question of the news that you want to read up on. Both UK and international news is available; covering topics that include politics, education and science, the environment and technology and of course, the ever popular entertainment information. Highly in demand, this app provides users with access to the BBC News according to your selection of update frequency and even provides you with a platform to share your statistics if you choose to.
A current problem faced with this app is the ability to download and view videos easily. It is uncertain whether this is because of the app itself or whether this has something to do with the bandwidth available at the time of streaming. Another little difficulty is that when you select a story to read, you will only get exposure to the top section of that story. It is therefore not a full view of the news in totality and for individuals interested in details, this can be somewhat disappointing.
In a nutshell
All in all, this is a great app to have on your Android device. It provides a free platform for regular updates on world events and the fact that videos can be downloaded and viewed on the device is an added plus, regardless that this may have problems of its own. Unlike third party apps that have endeavored to achieve the same objective but at a fee, the fact that this app is free and easily accessible makes it popular for users. Whether your objective is to have a daily feel for what is going on in the world, or the opportunity to review specific aspects of the world news, this app is a viable option. However for the nitty-gritty on world events, it looks like a visit to the BBC website may still be a better choice.
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