15
Mar
unnamed

We learned yesterday that the Chromecast would finally make its grand entrance to our friends in the UK on March 19. While the recently finalized Google Cast SDK should leave them with plenty of ways to start using it right away, there's one app that definitely needed to take the plunge and add support: BBC's iPlayer. Well, it looks like the BBC had the same thought, because a recent update gives us solid evidence that Chromecast streaming is coming very soon.

The updated apk came out on March 13, making the jump to version 3.0, but only identifying "Bug fixes" in the changelog. Thanks to the watchful eyes of Sam Nalty and Gilly, we got a glimpse of new strings and graphic resources in iPlayer that match those of other apps with Cast support.

<string name="common_google_play_services_install_title">Get Google Play services</string>

<string name="casting_to_device">Casting to: %1$s</string>

<string name="not_currently_casting">Not currently casting</string>

<string name="cast">Cast</string>

<string name="dlg_no_cast_title">Cannot cast media</string>

<string name="dlg_no_cast_msg">This content is not available to cast. To watch locally you should disconnect from the cast device.</string>

<string name="cast_error_disconnect">Your device has been disconnected.</string>

casticons

Some of the newly added icons

Unfortunately, those with imported Chromecasts will have to wait a bit longer. The app is completely ready, but the BBC still has to turn on support before casting can commence. There are still no clues for exactly when this will go live, so just hang tight and keep checking in.

Congratulations to the couch potatoes across the pond, this should make your viewing experience pretty great! As a reminder, BBC iPlayer and all of its content is free to viewers in the UK.

Oh, and to the BBC: sorry to ruin the surprise, ol' chaps.

Thanks, Sam Nalty and Gilly!

Cody Toombs
Cody is a Software Engineer and Writer with a mildly overwhelming obsession with smartphones and the mobile world. If he’s been pulled away from the computer for any length of time, you might find him talking about cocktails and movies, sometimes resulting in the consumption of both.

  • Qbancelli

    Is there a way to watch it in the US?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      The app is only for the UK audience. You can be sneaky and use a British VPN to fake your way into looking like a local, but that might be more trouble than you want to go through. Aside from that, there aren't a lot of good options, sorry.

      • Qbancelli

        Yeah, I meant to say without using a VPN.

        • Vaskie

          It's rather easy to watch UK Telly without being in the UK. Go to http://www.filmon.com and select the UK channels, most of the Freeview channels are there :)

    • flibblesan

      Legally, no. BBC iPlayer can only be used in the UK as we basically pay for access through the UK TV License.

      • usaff22

        Not everyone pays for it though ;)

        £150 a year is a stupid amount to charge.

        • Atomic Zombie

          For the amount of TV and radio content you get, no it isn't.

          • usaff22

            Nice try, BBC. The BBC have wasted over £350 million in useless ways - I'd rather have ads on TV (like all the other countries on earth) than pay £150 every year. I could buy a lot of things for that money.

          • Kylecore

            Sooo everyone is complaining because they essentially pay £12.50 a month for TV with no ads? Are you kidding... I pay $60 a month, so roughly tripple what you pay. Guess what I get for my money 60 channels and 30% of air time is commercials, it works out that every 30 minute show is actually 20 minutes long because there's literally 10 minutes of ads.

          • usaff22

            It's just a handful of channels that have no ads, but everyone who doesn't even watch BBC channels still has to pay for a TV License which serves no one but the BBC. They waste their money in so many ways, it's unbelievable. They even charge for a license for a black and white TV, which is just bullshit.

          • Swiss James

            Nice to see the Murdoch anti-BBC campaign is convincing some people.

          • usaff22

            I don't know what you're talking about - was I supposed to see this campaign? My opinions are my own, and don't read much of the Sun (or the BBC, or the Daily Mail)

          • yankee doodle

            You reckon?
            How's fox news suiting you?

          • Brendan Dillon

            In the US, if you want to watch TV, you pay for all the channels, even the stupid one you would never watch.
            A black and white tv is still a tv, how is that bullshit?

          • usaff22

            As far as I know, in the US, you pay for channels by subscribing to satellite/cable TV. You are, effectively, paying them to watch TV. However, in the UK, you pay not for all the channels, or to receive TV, but to just watch the BBC. What if you don't watch the BBC? Tough luck, you still have to pay even if you watch other channels. It's like Comcast charging you for Phone and TV when all you need is internet access - pretty much the same concept.

            BBC does not need to charge for a TV license to produce quality content. It's the companies and ad network's job to pay for commercials on primetime TV, and this will easily provide enough funding, especially for well-known channels like the BBC's, to fund for journalism. Not every channel that produces good, non-biased content has to be funded by a government.

          • Brendan Dillon

            "You are, effectively, paying them to watch TV. "

            Correct, and that's not much different from what you have in the UK.

            It's not an a la carte menu here in the US where you pick and choose. You can subscribe to a cable provider and pay for a wide range of channels, even if you only ever watch one single channel.

            You pay a fee to watch television, so do we. In the US, that fee goes to massive cable companies, in the UK, it funds the BBC.

            "BBC does not need to charge for a TV license to produce quality content. It's the companies and ad network's job to pay for commercials on primetime TV, and this will easily provide enough funding, especially for well-known channels like the BBC's, to fund for journalism."

            You REALLY don't get it do you? By having paid advertising, the programming that is put on, particularly for the news, becomes biased. Programming in the US is terrible, the news in particular is pure crap. Corporations can (and have) effectively paid to cover up or change the slant on important news stories. By paying for the BBC through the licensing fees corporate and political interests have their influence cut out from under them.

          • usaff22

            You obviously don't understand. YOU PAY cable companies to receive hardware capable of picking up other frequencies. It's your opinion that the programming in the US is terrible. If Fox news started charging for watching their news, and the government made it an act to pay them, even when you just watch Russia Today or CBS, I'm pretty sure many people would be up in arms about it. What makes this any different???

            HAVING COMMERCIALS IN AD-BREAKS, BETWEEN COMMERCIALS DOES NOT MAKE SOMETHING BIASED. You can just choose to mute the TV within ad-breaks. Your reasoning is obviously flawed, and there's nothing I can do to help you understand. I'm not even going to bother anymore.

          • Brendan Dillon

            "HAVING COMMERCIALS IN AD-BREAKS, BETWEEN COMMERCIALS DOES NOT MAKE SOMETHING BIASED."

            Actually, yes it does. Especially for the news. You can't report fairly and accurately while stuffing your pockets with corporate and political cash. The Magazine "Consumer Reports" produces all their magazines without advertisements, because you can't give a fair and accurate assessment of a product (or news story) while accepting money from people involved with that product (or news story). Look, for instance, at a running magazine. They all do annual reviews of shoes. If you read the reviews, apparently every shoe in the world is wonderful. None of them are terrible, ugly, provide poor support or fall apart easily. That's because the main money source for those magazines isn't the money you pay for your subscription, it's the advertising money that comes primarily from advertising shoes.

            "YOU PAY cable companies to receive hardware capable of picking up other frequencies."

            Sorry but this isn't quite how it works. There is a small fee for the use of a set top box, or a deposit you place until it is returned. The overwhelming amount of what is paid each month (which generally starts somewhere around $60 for the most basic service possible) is paid for the programming. Each network charges fees to the cable companies on a per user basis to carry their programming.

            If you think a news network can take money from corporations and politicians and remain unbiased, you need to spend some time learning about the real world and how money makes it go 'round. That's like thinking a politician can take money from special interest groups and remain unbiased. It's simply delusional.

          • Al McDowall

            @usaff22 - not 100% sure you understand the ramifications of having advertisers. When a company spends a lot of money paying for advertising on a channel, that channel can become dependent on the company. If the company threatened to pull its advertising (and therefore withdraw the money) the channel could find themselves scrambling to replace the income. This means that companies who pay to advertise actually have some leverage, meaning they can block certain stories from being reported, or even request changes to non-news shows if they feel their best interests are somehow not being served.

            In many cases, of course, a TV show is popular enough that there is no leverage - both parties need each other equally. Additionally, this is not to say that everything the BBC does is of high quality (goodness me no!). They do, however, have the freedom to commission any program which they think would be popular with THEIR customers (as opposed to someone else's) and they have the freedom to report the news impartially (even when it is to their own detriment).

          • Joey Colclough

            Try living in Ireland, €160 a year to RTE , and they also show advertising so there dual funded, and it's all rubbish, and from next year whether you have TV or not you have to pay.

          • Al McDowall

            usaff22 - I recognize that you're not satisfied with the BBC's service, but I wanted to point something out. You're right that the BBC collects a fee from every UK citizen who owns a TV and you're right that this means they do not need to show commercials on their channels. However, the lack of commercials is really pretty much a side effect. The real focus of being publicly funded is that the BBC does not need to please or satisfy any company or corporation, either through programming or news reporting.

            It's thanks to this system that the news department of the BBC is one of the few news outlets today that you can really trust (interestingly, Al Jazeera is also quite impartial). It also allows the BBC to divert funds and time to the David Attenborough school of documentary making, as well as documentaries that enable genuinely investigative journalism.

            Though it may not be to your taste, and you're absolutely free to discern what you do and do not want to pay for, the world would be a poorer place without the BBC and its unusual method of funding.

          • Brendan Dillon

            Shush, don't talk sense...

        • meleagru

          Don't remind me. I still need to pay mine.

        • Tomasimpo

          The TV license fee in the UK is excellent value. Quality TV channels without adverts, fantastic impartial radio stations, and some of the best on-line content on the web. I would pay more if they asked. The BBC is a global leader in impartial broadcasting free of adverts and commercial interference.

          • usaff22

            Not sure if sarcastic, or...

      • Danny Holyoake

        You don't have to pay the license to use iPlayer as a catch-up service. Only live content.

        • David

          Spot on Danny, The website clearly shows that you dont need a tv license to watch BBC iPlayer. They run the web service at a loss each year but make enough on the broadcasting licence to make it a sensible "Love us" investment. The reason it is blocked abroad is because SOME of the content is licensed only in UK. They lose no money from people abroad Hulu-ing in... Infact some might even get DVD boxsets from BBC... So they dont need to try too hard to stop international access... Just enough to be appropriate to license.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

    Whoa, whoa... non-Google APK Teardowns? This is not allowed.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Actually, they hinted at it, then I tore it down to confirm. But yeah, they're getting smarter, we must dig deeper.

      My excuse is that I couldn't download the apk on time because I'm not in UK. And I'm sticking to it.

      Edit: And I just realized you said non-Google as opposed to not-AP and not-Ron. Now it's not as funny. And I feel silly. And I'm leaving.

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        We'll miss you, Artem

    • Deeco

      Artem has upped a level!

  • mesmorino

    I was going to download the iplayer app again until I remembered that you still need to download an entirely different app in order to watch anything. This is annoying as I generally only remember that I want to watch Sherlock after I've turned off the computers

  • Gordon Brown

    I've also found chrome cast icons in the BT sport app but not knowledgeable enough to check for references in the code like this.

    • SmItH197

      I did my own teardown of the BT Sport app and found the following!

    • Danny Holyoake

      Gordon Brown reads Android Police?!?

  • meleagru

    Awesome.

  • dude

    With Chromecasting and a little 'work around', you'll be able to watch F1 highlights on your TV outside UK.

  • mechaphil

    I wonder if this will go active from the web-based iPlayer. I'd love to use Hola! + Chromecast to watch all the English shows I could muster.

  • SmItH197

    I did my own teardown of the BT Sport app and found chromecast support

  • ShahinTr

    Sweet! TopGear and F1 on replay.

  • bananaman

    "As a reminder, BBC iPlayer and all of its content is free to viewers in the UK."
    Since when?
    I pay £145.50 per year to the BBC for the privilege of watching motd and top gear.

    • bob

      You only have to pay to watch things live

      • lwillis90

        That's not what I thought?
        Yes I'm a UK resident. Sure I saw somewhere if you have a iPad/computer which is capable of receiving live TV you have to pay

        • Danny Holyoake

          Nope, not true at all. You only need to pay the yearly fee if you intend to watch live streams or live content through a TV. Using iPlayer as a catch-up service is free.

          • lwillis90

            Oright I see

            I'll still have to pay mine as I do watch live TV. Generally not BBC stuff tho except topgear!

          • David Pugh

            http://www.tvlicenceresistance.info this will give you clear information without bullshit like detector vans being mentioned. Unfortunately, you need a TV license to watch ANY channel live (regardless of the fact that the license money goes only to the BBC), this includes foreign live TV channels.

    • Danny Holyoake

      You pay that to watch BBC (and other) content LIVE. Using iPlayer on-demand/catch-up is completely free and a tv license is not needed for it. :)

    • Brendan Dillon

      I would pay this in a heartbeat to be able to watch the BBC in the US.

      • David Pugh

        There are a plethora of VPN services which allow you to watch BBC iPlayer programmes from the US. This is perfectly legal, and there are many guides easily searchable on Google which will show you how.

        • Brendan Dillon

          No, it's actually not perfectly legal, you're breaking the BBC's TOS if you do that.

          • Qassim Farid

            Breaking a TOS != breaking the law. Especially in another country.

          • Brendan Dillon

            Actually, yes, it does equal breaking the law. It's called computer fraud and it can be a felony in the US.

          • Qassim Farid

            Using a VPN is in no way 'computer fraud'.

          • Brendan Dillon

            That depends on what you use it for. Using a VPN to break a service's TOS is computer fraud in the United States under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The likelihood of being prosecuted for it for something like accessing iPlayer is slim to none (just as you won't get pulled over for speeding when you're 2 mph over the speed limit) but it's still technically a criminal act.

  • lwillis90

    Thankfully the BBC arnt smart enough to block access on rooted phones. !

    • http://www.geordienorman.com/ George Byers

      Channel 4 did this and I used a root cloak addon from the xsposed framework called "root cloak" and now it has no problems!

      • lwillis90

        I think I've tried that.
        Channel 4 -4OD works on my nexus 5 tho

      • Al McDowall

        @George Byers - thanks for that. I've yet to get 4OD working on my TV, I'll try this trick!

  • Wgpeter

    Is there no way to get this app of you're in America? Love watching British television.

  • Crankcaller

    The part I don't like is:

    This content is not available to cast. To watch locally you should disconnect from the cast device.

    So they can stop you casting some programs? What's the difference between doing this and plugging my laptop into the tv? jesus.

  • Deeco

    People outside the UK hype BBC too much, you aint missing nothing except Top Gear.

    • lwillis90

      I agree. Only ever watch BBC for top gear and listen to radio 2 in afternoons when I can't get a decent local radio station.
      I'd rather have adverts than pay for a licence for bbc .

    • Danny Holyoake

      One of the best news sources (online and TV) available, incredible Olympics coverage that destroyed the competition in other regions (ahem, US' olympic coverage was pathetic), some of the best documentaries and TV shows coming from the UK... Yeah, the BBC does nothing. *rolls eyes*

      • Al McDowall

        BBC TV has been responsible for some very good shows - there's some dross in there as well, but that's the same for every broadcaster. Totally agree with Danny about the news. Left the UK around the time the Iraq war was kicking off (coincidence only) and the difference between the BBC coverage and the other options was amazing.

        The BBC really do provide one of the best news reporting services, and one of the last examples of truly independent news programming. People who live in the UK, in general, don't appreciate what a gem it really is.

      • Brendan Dillon

        Plus Downton Abbey, Sherlock... I'm sure I'd find more if I had regular access to the BBC.

        • trsev

          Downton Abbey isn't on BBC - it's on ITV.