BBC 'forces' takedown of Microsoft man's unofficial Windows Phone app

Beeb forces takedown of Microsoft man's unofficial Windows Phone BBC News app
Lawrence Gripper's BBC News app is coming down

A popular, unofficial BBC News application for Windows Phone, created by a Microsoft employee, will be removed from the Windows Store, with reports citing legal pressure from the Beeb.

In the absence of an official offering, Lawrence Gripper's free BBC News Mobile app, which pulls in feeds from the website, had admirably plugged the gap, earning an average rating of above four stars.

The app brought Live Tile support, allowed users to read/ listen in-app or on the BBC website and served it all up in within a fine user interface that encouraged over half a million downloads in the past two years.

Well-known developer Gripper, who created the app and a subsequent Windows Phone 8 update as a "labour of love" before joining Microsoft, broke the news on his personal blog "with great sadness."

No further comment

Gripper, who is now a technical account manager at Redmond, wrote: "[The apps] have been a labor of love for me since the launch of Windows Phone in 2010 and it is with great sadness today that I removed both applications from the store.

"I do not wish to comment any further on the matter except to thank the over half a million people who downloaded the application and all those who have supported, tested, rated and emailed over the years."

While the developer remained diplomatic about the real reason for the app's demise, The Verge reports that it was pressure from the tax-payer funded BBC which resulted in the takedown.

The app does use the BBC's logo, but so do plenty of other unofficial offerings on the Windows Store, none of which have been as well received as Gripper's, which is still temporarily available for download.

Who knows? Perhaps it is worried that the official app won't be able to live up to the third-party offering? That's if it ever decides to grace Windows Phone fans with its presence.

Via The Verge

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.