BlackBerry PlayBook BBC News and iPlayer apps go live....sort of

BlackBerry PlayBook users are in for a double dose of BBC app action as the corporation has announced that its News and iPlayer apps are now available.....in a way.

You see, these aren't dedicated QNX apps but simply icons, or shortcuts, to web pages with optimised versions of the services.

"The BBC News shortcut will link to the desktop version of the BBC News website, and the BBC iPlayer shortcut will link to a browser optimised for portable devices," said Abigail Khanna, senior business development manager for BBC Future Media.

"The growth rate in tablets is outstripping that of PCs so we’re pleased to be able to bring these products to a wider tablet audience."

A similar step was made on Android recently, with the BBC updating their Android app to include "optimisation" for Honeycomb tablets, which didn’t display the previous app correctly.

In fact, this optimisation amounted to circumventing the app and just providing a shortcut to the BBC iPlayer website - the very same shortcut you’d get if you created it from the browser in the first place.

New PlayBooks will now come with the web icons pre-installed and existing users will get a software update notification on their status ribbon.

The BBC has also announced that the latest versions of the shortcuts developed for BlackBerry smartphones last year have had to be rolled back because of technical issues.