Monday, April 8, 2013

BBC forgets its public service remit

This news is about two weeks late, but better late than never, eh? Ever felt that as a license fee payer you don't feel like BBC has your best interest? Well Windows Phone users do. For more than two years, Lawrence Gripper, a developer at Microsoft, has developed and maintained the brilliant none-commercial BBC News third party application. His dedication to bring us the service BBC themselves refuses to provide against their very own charter, should be applauded.

Not according to BBC that is. Allegedly, someone at the Beeb has got their knickers in the twist and decided to come down hard on the app. Perhaps it is because the app is so good (in many ways, even better than BBC's own mediocre official offerings on iOS and Android), they felt embarrassed, maybe. This resulted in the developer being forced to de-list the app from the Marketplace. If you haven't downloaded it yet, tough luck. You will just have to get your news from BBC's rather rubbish mobile site.

According to the developer, the app has been downloaded by over half a million users - a staggering number for a platform that many has insisted is dead. You would think that with such a high demand for a quality BBC News app, Aunty themselves would develop their very own app, or at the very least, turn a blind eye on Mr. Gripper's work. Well you don't need me to tell you how many feels about BBC's own policy towards mobile platform neutrality (*cough* there isn't).

If you are a license fee payer like I am, and feel that the BBC has been most unjust in the way they are treating Windows Phone users, please feel free to send them a polite complaint, perhaps also reminding them that not everyone worships the House of Cupertino and Margaret Thatcher. In any case, the moment we move home, we think our license fee is better spent on something a bit more worthwhile, like Netflix.

No comments: