BBC iPlayer iPhone app finally arrives

It has been a long time coming but, at last, you can get rid of that BBC iPlayer icon that is cunningly disguised as an app on your iPhone's homescreen - the BBC iPlayer iPhone app has finally gone live in the Apple App Store.

The launch comes as the Beeb revealed that there have been over 1.5 million installs of the Apple iPad version and 1.2 million downloads of the Android app since they went live back in February.

"People love using BBC iPlayer on mobiles and tablets, and with 16.5 million programmes watched in October 2011 usage has more than doubled over the last year," said Daniel Danker, the BBC’s general manager of Programmes and On Demand. "With the new app audiences will enjoy¬†catch up and¬†live TV in a simple, easy-to-use mobile experience."

Live TV indeed, for the iPhone app not only allows you to catch up on all of Auntie's goodies, but watch or listen live to BBC TV and Radio channels and flick between them on the go. The iPhone app launch also coincides with the announcement that 3G streaming is now available on iOS devices.

3G streaming will also hit "a range" of other devices via the mobile web platforms and Android devices will see an update landing in the new year. AirPlay is also now available for iPad users courtesy of an updated app.

"Today's announcement also means more licence fee payers can enjoy a better experience when using BBC iPlayer on the move, and reflects our ambition to take BBC iPlayer beyond the desktop," said Danker. "We have worked closely with mobile operators to ensure that their networks are ready for iPlayer, and introduced 3G streaming to offer licence fee payers a truly mobile experience."

Out now, the BBC iPlayer iPhone app is, of course, free.