Taking a leaf out of the Netflix book, the BBC has unveiled its new iPlayer, which offers a consistent view across all devices, including your smartphone or tablet.Tony Hall, Director-General, BBC, commented: 'This is an exciting day for us. BBC iPlayer is really popular, and new iPlayer will be even better. You’ll be able to find so many more programmes you might like – and I hope everyone enjoys the new design. It’s just a first step to re-inventing BBC iPlayer, the best online television service in the world.'The app has been 'redesigned from the ground up', producing an iPlayer with a new look and feel, one that should make it easier to find content and discover new content. You can make up your own mind right now, as the new version is available as an opt-in preview on tablet and mobile browsers.Specifically, the new app will offer that responsive look and feel, along with more advanced recommendations, a smarter predictive search, collections of programmes curated around events, themes or moments in time, improved access to channels and categories, a new-look favourites section that updates with the latest episodes available to watch, image-led navigation and recently watched and searched options for easy access to programmes you've recently viewed and searched for. There's also resume play that allows you to pick up an episode where you left off. Sound familiar? Yes, the BBC is definitely taking inspiration from popular online movie streaming sites here.On top of that, the BBC is looking to promote new programming on iPlayer, including Original Drama Shorts from new young writers and emerging talent, Original Comedy Shorts from the likes of Frankie Boyle, Bob Mortimer, Meera Syal, Morgana Robinson, Micky Flanagan, Matt Berry and Stewart Lee plus new work from Adam Curtis, a guided tour of Matisse The Cut-Outs Exhibition at Tate Modern by musician and artist Goldie and content focusing on both the Great War and the Chelsea Flower Show. Something for everyone, if you like.
In the coming months, the BBC iPlayer mobile and tablet apps will be updated with the new look and feel to keep that consistency. We don't know exactly when, but we would expect work to be well underway and the apps to land sooner rather than later. However, you can test drive the mobile-optimised version of BBC iPlayer now.