The BBC has announced the launch of a brand new media player for Android devices. Dubbed BBC Media Player, the BBC says it will start to use this new player with the mobile view of the iPlayer website. Next week, the broadcaster will release a new version of iPlayer for Android that will also use this new player. This will be followed by a roll out for other applications and websites.
The new media player is based on Adobe Air and was developed because of Adobe's decision to remove Flash support with Android Jelly Bean 4.1. The BBC said via a blog post that it needed a solution that would run on newer Android devices running Jelly Bean as well as older devices running versions of Android older than Android 4.1. On top of this, it wanted something that wouldn't require a change in infrastructure, would work with for its websites and its native Android applications, and would meet previously agreed upon security obligations. That said, the broadcaster said it knows mobile technology is evolving at a fast pace and that this solution may have to be adjusted down the road.
"We are making this change with our eyes open. No technology is perfect," the BBC said. "We've seen some of the challenges that other Adobe Air based apps have had in the marketplace and so we have worked hard, both internally and with our technology partners to build the best application we can."
Adobe revealed its plans to focus on Flash for the PC and mobile applications packaged with Adobe AIR, back in November. Part of this shift in focus involved the discontinuation of development of Flash Player for mobile browsers. The company announced in June that beginning August 15, it would use the configuration settings in the Google Play Store to limit continued access to Flash Player updates to only those devices that have Flash Player already installed.