The BBC is breaking out its radio streaming and catch-up services from the conventional iPlayer applications. After currently unfounded rumours hit the net about its prospective Spotify alternative "BBC Playlister", the corporation has launched BBC iPlayer Radio, a separate catch-up and live streaming app dedicated to its audio broadcasts.
With an Android version soon to follow, the new iOS app will be available on Apple's App Store tomorrow (9 October) and it will mark the eventual phase out of radio services on the conventional BBC iPlayer application.
It will offer live radio streams from all of the BBC's stations nationwide, plus catch-up content, downloads for offline listening and even video clips. There will also be social media integration in order to discuss and share content, including tracking information for music currently playing.
Each station gets its own homepage, where specific content will be accessible using a simple swipe. While an innovative scroll wheel helps you find the BBC service you want intuitively. There's also an alarm function built into the BBC iPlayer Radio app to allow you to "wake up to your favourite DJ or programme".
The desktop PC version of the new application will be further developed over the coming months, including new ways to access content from the DJs and presenters directly, in order to create two-way conversations between the listener and studio.
Pocket-lint has been told that the BBC iPlayer Radio app for smartphones and TV will be restricted to UK use only at present; the PC version will be accessible globally.
We have also learnt that the corporation is to leave its Smart TV, Virgin Media, YouView and forthcoming Sky iPlayer apps as they are for now. When we asked if it plans to split its service on these platforms the BBC told us: "Not initially, but we might do eventually.. it is too early to say."
At present, it doesn't believe there is the demand for such a move as "radio is a very small minority of the use on iPlayer on TV".