BBC News app for Android finally arrives

The BBC has announced that its popular BBC News app has spread its wings, and is now landing on Android devices.

The app, which launched for iOS devices in July last year is available for versions of Android from 1.6 onwards and will even work on devices that don't support Flash. Although you will need Adobe's plug-in on board, and Android 2.2+, to get live streaming of the BBC News channel.

Honeycomb users prepare yourself for a big sigh though - Android 3.0+ isn't yet supported, so there's no (proper) Android tablet action for BBC News at present.

The main features of the Android app are:

·       Simple design with scroll functionality to enable efficient browsing;

·       Tap action to reveal full-screen article and in-story video;

·       Sideways ‘swipe’ functionality to move between stories;

·       Sharing tools to post stories to a range of social networks, email or send via SMS to a friend;

·       Rapid news stories refresh and latest and breaking news ‘ticker’;

·       Neat personalisation features, allowing you to personalise the home screen by adding and removing       categories;

·       Font controls to increase or decrease the story text size.

The Beeb is very proud of its news apps; boasting that the iOS versions have been downloaded 6 million times worldwide and that its success shows a "clear testimony to audiences’ appetite for a higher quality, on-the-move experience".

However, Fleet Street wasn't too please with the first wave of BBC News apps, with the NPA stating at the time: "The launch of BBC mobile apps represents a significant change to the BBC online service and we believe it will have a significant and negative market impact upon the viability of the business models of commercial news organisations in the app market."

Spreading the BBC News love to the huge volumes of Android users then, again for free, isn't likely to go do well everywhere then.

You can download BBC News from the Android Market now.