BBC iPlayer update coming today, will finally allow on device downloadsThe BBC will finally release an update to its UK only BBC iPlayer app that will bring downloads to your iPhone and iPad. The current version of iPlayer will only allow you to stream content to your device which has always been very limiting, especially if you are travelling. The news comes from The Guardian and the update should go live sometime today.

From Tuesday, licence-fee payers will be able to download BBC programmes from the iPlayer video-on-demand service and watch them offline on Apple's iPhone and iPad at no extra cost, including while abroad. The development marks a significant shift for BBC iPlayer, which has previously only allowed viewers to stream programmes to tablets and mobile devices with broadband connections or download them to watch on a desktop computer.

Daniel Danker, the BBC's general manager of on-demand programmes, said: "This fundamentally changes one of the most annoying restrictions about viewing programmes. It means audiences are liberated from the constraints and it fundamentally changes what it means to go on holiday. "He added: "With mobile downloads, you can now load up your mobile phone or tablet with hours and hours of BBC programmes, then watch them on the road, on the tube, on a plane, without worrying about having an internet connection or running up a mobile data bill."

Once you have downloaded a TV episode, you will have a total of thirty days to enjoy it, after that it will become unwatchable on your device. If you start watching a program, you will then only have a further seven days to finish watching it. Strange restrictions I know but it must have something to do with media copyright etc.

The download service which is believed to launch later today, will start off as a Wi-Fi only service. The BBC will hopefully expand this to work over 3G too although with today’s restrictive low quantity mobile data plans it may not be a much desired feature anyway. The BBC iPlayer service is free in the UK for all BBC Television licence payers and the download service will also be offered as a completely free service too.

Update: It's now live in the App Store

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I am extremely happy that the BBC has decided to introduce downloads to its iPhone and iPad apps. Being on a slow connection, streaming was never a great option for me, now I can download the programmes I want to see and watch them whenever I have time without the buffering and stuttering. If you are a BBC iPlayer user, are you happy about the new download functionality?

Source: The Guardian

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