A new app that lets you watch iPlayer on your Android-powered phone has popped up on the Market. myPlayer is unofficial, but unlike the BBC's own iPlayer solution, it's available now and on phones running older versions of the Google OS.
The simple application is free to download until the BBC lawyers find it and pull their killjoy cease and desist tricks on it. It offers access to both live TV and radio streams, as well as the usual catch-up service.
We recently reported that the BBC was bringing iPlayer to Android, but only those
running the latest version of the operating system, 2.2, also called
Froyo. This resulted in groans from most Android phone owners, and yelps of joy from
the three people who bought a Nexus
You can theoretically use either 3G or Wi-Fi to access video with myPlayer, but we couldn't get Wi-Fi to work reliably and 3G will chew through your data allowance.
Using the 3G feed, we were impressed by how good the picture was and how fast the programmes loaded. As much as we loved the now defunct beebPlayer, myPlayer is more responsive, and while looking much less polished, it's a more reliable piece of software. The search, for example, is very quick -- we were able to track down the final episode of Doctor Who in no time at all, and were watching it mere seconds later.
Our only complaint -- and it's fairly major -- is that it was very reluctant to stream via Wi-Fi on either of the two networks we've attempted to access it from.
If your phone is not going to be updated to Froyo any time soon, or you just hate Flash, this little app is perfect for you, as long as you have a hefty amount of free data on your contract. We love it, and we really hope the BBC doesn't make the authors take it down. Certainly not before they've fixed the Wi-Fi problem.