BBC iPlayer mobile app just got the one big feature it's been missing

BBC iPlayer app
BBC iPlayer app

BBC iPlayer for mobile devices is getting a significant update, with the Beeb announcing it will soon begin rolling out live programme restart options to its iOS and Android apps.

The ability to roll live shows back to their beginning while streaming is already possible on the BBC's connected TV apps, but it's a first for the company on mobile, letting users restart a live show that's already begun with a single tap.

Live restarts come at a particularly busy time for the iPlayer apps – Glastonbury, Wimbledon, the Euro football championship and Olympics drew in an average of 16 million unique viewers a week across June, July and August for the platform.

Visually seeking

While the mobile apps are getting the headline features, some other updates rolling out across iPlayer are worth noting too.

With half-decent broadband now standard up and down the country, and the majority of TVs now supporting at least 720p playback, the 720p HD resolution will now be the default setting for playback on computers and connected TVs. That's provided that your connected TV supports adaptive bitrate streams, which most do.

Also on the way is a "visual seeking" scrubber for a snapshot look at moments during a show while rewinding or fast forwarding, offering thumbnail views of the show in the progress bar, as is the norm in Netflix.

Gerald Lynch

Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.