BBC iPlayer iPad App – The Real Review

Today, the BBC iPlayer launched in the UK Apple App Store. I must admit I’ve been using the Beta web version of this app on my iPad for a while now but this brand new dedicated iPad version is really something else. It allows you to watch and listen live to over 400 hours of programs from the past 7 days, this is either TV or radio programs and it works great.

Read this review to learn how to maximize your pleasure with this app.

Home Screen


Firstly and importantly, this app is free, although you are meant to have a UK TV license in order to watch it. So once you have downloaded it you will see the Home Screen, which highlights, visually, specific programs you may like to watch, it also gives three categories to select from at the bottom of the page, TV, Radio and Favorite. You can scroll to the left of the home screen and see further programs with their respective dates that you may like to watch.



When you select a specific program, such as Madagascar above, the iPlayer also selects similar programs to this that you may like to watch too. If you look at the bottom of the screen you can see Human Planet, Little Human Planet etc. When you click on the Play icon on the actual Madagascar program it starts to play.

There are various options you can choose, such as whether you want to watch the program in high quality or not. If the program is subtitled and you want to use that facility you can select the S icon to incorporate this. The subtitles work well and are color coded to help you identify who is talking.

Search & Categories


If you are looking for a specific genre of program to watch, just select the Search & Categories icon on the top right of the screen. A list will appear, as above, with options like Children’s, comedy, drama, entertainment, films etc.

Selection Process


When you select one of the options, in this case Films, a further menu will show you films from the past 7 days that you may like to watch. Again, it is very simple to use, just select the film by clicking on it, and then press play and again, select options such as volume, high quality and subtitles and then sit back to enjoy it.



Some review sites are complaining that you can’t actually record the programs to watch later. This is true but to be honest it would take up a huge amount of the ‘relatively’ small memory of the iPad if you tried to do this and the whole point of this app is more of a ‘catch up’ service.

If you’re not able to watch a program when you want to you can add it to your favorites, by way of a location reminder, and then watch when you do have time. It won’t be saved past seven days so you do have to watch it within that time frame but then it keeps the app fresh with lots of new programs always ready to watch.



If you’re in the UK and have an iPad then you’re laughing all the way to the bank with this one. You can watch as much BBC TV as you can stand or listen or the numerous BBC radio stations, including The Archers, The Chris Moyles Show, The Chris Evans Breakfast Show and many more, all for free, whenever you want to.

If you are in the US then things get a little more complicated as the point with the iPlayer app was that as UK citizens you are already paying for a TV license so can watch programs on this app for free. In the US obviously you are not paying for a BBC TV license so it appears the plan is to make this app a paid for app around June time in the US App Store. So, if you want to get your fix of Top Gear, EastEnders or Casualty the way it was intended to be broadcast and you’re in the US you may just have to wait a little longer. In addition, there is not an iPhone version of this app yet, but again this is imminent and should be with us soon.

Enjoy, what’s not to love?

Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website—— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: [email protected]