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Unofficial BBC News App Pulled from Windows Store

The developer of the BBC News applications for Windows Phone and Windows Phone 8 has announced the removal of both applications from the Windows Store. Developed by Microsoft employee Lawrence Gripper, BBC News Mobile allowed users to browse, read, and share news from the BBC. It had LiveTile and push notification support, the ability to open stories in the browser (or read right from the app), and sharing via SMS and email. Unfortunately, the app is no longer available for either Windows Phone or Windows 8, and Gripper seems reluctant to get into the details.

"These 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," he said via his blog today. "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 Gripper may not be divulging the details of the disappearing apps, Pocket-Lint received a statement from the BBC that suggests the broadcaster had something to do with the removal of the applications from the Windows Store. Speaking to the site, the BBC said:

"The BBC has clear terms of use that are designed to enable further distribution of BBC content and services in a way that is fair to all parties, and does not imply authorization or endorsement by the BBC. These are available at www.bbc.co.uk/terms. In this case, the terms of use were unfortunately not met, and we have therefore asked for the app to be removed."

Unfortunately, the BBC didn't offer any information on whether or not it has its own official Windows Phone/Windows 8 application in the works. We'll keep you posted.

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  • house70
    Fools. They could have offered him some money for the effort so far and hire him to maintain/develop this as an official BBC app. Win-win.
    Instead, they chose to drop the fine print on him and now they have no app exposure. Lose-lose.
    Reply
  • thats a big shame, I use this app on my WP8 and its great, shame that its been removed, I hope that they can sort something out to bring it back
    Reply
  • zoemayne
    I know for android bbc has a "pay for news" app thats pretty much why they shut this down
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    BBC is supposed to be a non-commercial organisation, but in practive it is far from it, outside the UK they gouge every penny possible from selling DVDs of programs and advertising
    ...
    If the apps in WP were free, but they had a pay-for one on Android, they likely have an agreement with Google not to allow a rival app on WP and have taken their 30 pieces of silver to not develop an official one
    ...
    The person that loses most is the consumer thanks to the BBC being a bunch of slimy, triple faced, backstabbing Judases
    Reply
  • eiskrystal
    BBC is supposed to be a non-commercial organisation, but in practise it is far from it, outside the UK they gouge every penny possible from selling DVDs of programs and advertising

    You think DVD sales and advertising is wrong? How quaint.

    No, the BBC is not some magical "not-for-profit". They have a licence system in the UK and then normal distribution systems outside of the UK.

    The official BBC news app is free as far as I can tell. I am also unsurprised that they don't want a 3rd party controlling the distribution of their content.
    Reply
  • ojas
    house70Idiots. They could have offered him some money for the effort so far and hire him to maintain/develop this as an official BBC app. Win-win. Instead, they chose to drop the fine print on him and now they have no app exposure. Lose-lose.True. I sometimes wish people wouldn't fix the problems of big corps, maybe it would force them to improve themselves.
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    eiskrystalYou think DVD sales and advertising is wrong? How quaint.No, the BBC is not some magical "not-for-profit". They have a licence system in the UK and then normal distribution systems outside of the UK.The official BBC news app is free as far as I can tell. I am also unsurprised that they don't want a 3rd party controlling the distribution of their content.Thanks, seeing as I live in the UK and have done so pretty much every day barring holidays in all my 39 years I think I know how the BBC is run very well, but thanks for asking
    ...
    No, I don't think that selling DVDs is wrong but they shouldn't have advertising, that is a point of principle on which the corporation was founded and the license fee is the extension of that as a publicly funded organisation that are not influenced by commercial interests, if they transmit outside the UK they should have a subscription model similar to HBO
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    After a bit of checking, BBC are launching the iPlayer App for WP in the next few weeks, as that includes the BBC News 24 channel that is likely to to supercede any existing BBC News App
    ...
    I don't mind that, but axing an existing app well in advance of a working replacement is a bit shoddy and disrepectful of the userbase
    Reply
  • zoemayne
    house70Fools. They could have offered him some money for the effort so far and hire him to maintain/develop this as an official BBC app. Win-win. Instead, they chose to drop the fine print on him and now they have no app exposure. Lose-lose.Why would you ever go from working for Microsoft (an Fortune 500 software company) to BBC (a news company that's prob been laying off employees due to the web)
    Reply
  • eiskrystal
    if they transmit outside the UK they should have a subscription model similar to HBO

    That implies that a subscription model is best for it's customers (or even available within a particular country) and frankly i'll take advertising over subscriptions. Advertising does not go against their charter to use commercial subsidiaries as long as they don't go against its "UK public purpose" and as long as the advertising is peripheral and not endorsed by the BBC.
    Reply