BBC iPlayer has had a strange relationship with Android TV. There have been versions specific to certain hardware, such as the one for the Nvidia Shield or those you can get on Sony TVs, but there's still no official generic version that works on any ATV device. This means no BBC iPlayer for the new Chromecast with Google TV, since that's just an ATV dongle with a fancy skin. Or so we thought. Thankfully, there's a new version of the app that's compatible with Google's new hardware, just in time for launch.
This BBC help page shows that the new Google streamer is certified for use with iPlayer, although that may only refer to the cast functionality.
While the app is built for Android TV, it doesn't appear to be available for Xiaomi's Mi Box, or other ATV hardware at present. Reports from users now point out that it's possible to sideload this version of iPlayer on other Android TV devices. It's not officially available for the Nvidia Shield (which has its own version of the app), though, and there's no point sideloading it there as it's the same as the version compatible only with Shield devices in terms of functionality. As u/PhysicallyKrisp shows off on Reddit, this version of iPlayer looks very much like the Shield version or any other, so the experience should be familiar for users.
Apps like Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney+ are integrated with the new Google TV interface so content from each app appears on the main screen all mixed together.
It doesn't look like the new iPlayer app supports this feature, but perhaps it's something that could be added down the line. It looks like the new BBC iPlayer app also integrates with this feature, thankfully, so there's no need to rely on casting from your phone any longer.
As well as the new BBC iPlayer app, there's also a new BBC Sounds app for Google TV and even rivals ITV have joined the party with their hub. You can download all three of them using the links below:
- BBC iPlayer (Android TV) 0.4.3 on APK Mirror
- BBC Sounds (Android TV) 0.4.3 on APK Mirror
- ITV Hub (Android TV) 1.5.2 on APK Mirror
In other news, the Apple TV app is coming to some Sony Android TV models. If we could get that on the new Chromecast, that would be the icing on the cake.