Programmes from BBC iPlayer can be downloaded to Apple iPhones from today.

This service is currently only available on Apple iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, but the BBC says that Android devices will be able to benefit soon.

Previously, iPlayer could only be streamed to a mobile device; this required a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. The launch will allow popular BBC television programmes such as Eastenders to be downloaded to a compatible device so that it can be watched offline.

This move will allow licence-fee holders to see their favourite BBC shows where there is no internet connection, such as on the underground.

It also means that users can watch iPlayer programmes on the bus or while abroad without generating huge data fees. The BBC estimates that a 30-minute show uses up to 112MB of data; O2 pay and go customers pay £3 per MB, unless they take out a data plan or reach a cap. This could be even more expensive overseas.

Downloaded programmes can be kept on a device for up to 30 days, but once a user starts to watch a show it will be deleted after seven days.

Posted by Simon Thomas

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