British parents have long known that handing your kids an iPad full of children’s TV shows is a good way to keep them quiet for a while appropriately entertained and informed. The BBC has made that job even easier today by launching a special iPlayer Kids app. The iPad app, which has a user-interface suitable for young children, features only age-appropriate TV shows.
The new child-friendly app is safe and easy to use. With over 10,000 episodes being made available this year alone, it has all of BBC Children’s world-class content in one place, allowing kids to discover and enjoy both new and old CBeebies and CBBC favourites including Wolfblood, Blue Peter, The Dumping Ground, Topsy & Tim and Go Jetters.
Each child in the family creates their own profile, complete with their age and a cartoon character to represent them, and the app them automatically filters the shows offered.
Pre-school children (under five) are only shown CBeebies content, while children over five are shown both CBBC and CBeebies content (customised to be suitable for their age).
The BBC says it created the app in recognition of the fact that children’s programs are the most popular genre watched through iPlayer.
Spotlight support means that you to search for BBC TV shows by swiping down from the homescreen, while Handoff allows you to seamlessly pick up where you left off when switching between devices. The BBC notes that it has also fixed a nasty bug.
In addition to all that good stuff, we’ve also included a fix for a particularly nasty crash on launch, and last but not least, you can now find an entire catalogue of iPlayer programmes for a channel via the A-Z option in the channel page.
As announced earlier in the year, the BBC has now launched an official iPlayer app for the Apple TV. The app uses native a tvOS interface, closely resembling the normal iTunes Store films and TV shows interface. The app is free but requires a TV licence and is therefore only available to UK Apple TV owners.
The BBC iPlayer app, which provides streaming and downloadable access to BBC television shows in the UK, has joined Hulu and Pocket in supporting the new Picture in Picture feature in iOS 9.
As with other apps, press the home button once while playing a show and the video window becomes a small floating window that you can resize and reposition while using other iPad apps. The functionality is available on the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 2 and 3.
9to5Mac compiled another list of the top app news, updates, and launches in our usual roundup below. The highlights from today includes statistics on how the newly Web-geared Instagram helped capture Hurricane Sandy in real-time, a new eBook app by Sony, and a shiny teaser trailer for Rovio’s Angry Birds Star Wars (above). Oh, and a few app sales—check it out:
1. Angry Birds Star Wars
After releasing a string of teasers for its title landing on iOS Nov. 8, Rovio posted the first official full-length gameplay trailer today for its new Star Wars edition of Angry Birds.
Angry Birds Star Wars will be out on November 8, but until then, watch this gameplay trailer and scream “OH MY GOODNESS!!!!” to yourself in the mirror
2. Instagram | Free Hurricane Sandy barreled through the East Coast last week, and those in its stormy path made sure to document all of the havoc in real-time with the help of Instagram. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom revealed to GigaOM today that folks uploaded over 800,000 photos tagged with the #Sandy hashtag. Systrom specifically noted Sandy was “probably the biggest event to be captured on Instagram.” The news from Systrom this morning came as the Facebook-acquired company also announced the rollout of new Web profiles with a very Facebook-esque look (via official Instagram blog):
You’ve asked for Instagram on the web and we’ve listened. Over the next few days, we’ll be rolling out Instagram profiles on the web!
Your web profile features a selection of your recently shared photographs just above your profile photo and bio, giving others a snapshot of the photos you share on Instagram. In addition, you can follow users, comment & like photos and edit your profile easily and directly from the web. It’s a beautiful new way to share your Instagram photos!
BBC iPlayer version 1.3.2: BBC’s streaming app for its TV and radio networks received a nice update today that brings updated graphics for Retina iPads, improved video playback performance, enhanced Voice Over controls, and the usual bug fixes and performance updates.
imo instant messenger version 3.2: The popular instant messaging app with more than 700,000 users and 50 million messages sent daily was updated this morning with one big new feature previously only available to Android users: voice calling over Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G. All users running iOS 3.1 and up can now make free calls to their imo contacts with no usage of cell minutes and no data usage over Wi-Fi.
TweetBot version 0.7.0:TweetBot for Mac beta has been given a nice update, adding the ability to edit your Twitter profile within the app, animated .gif support, and Storify support among even more features. Due to Sandboxing issues, you will need to manually install the update.
MOG version 2.1.33: Online music subscription service MOG, home to roughly 16 million songs and 500,000 paid subscribers, was recently acquired by Beats Electronics. Its iOS app received a decent update today, with the ability to create and edit playlists, as well as a new album reviews section, and a “better, stronger, faster interface.”
Adobe Proto version 1.5:Adobe’s prototyping app for creating wireframe prototypes of apps and websites was updated today with a few notable features. A full list of what’s new in the update including email and Dropbox sharing, navigation improvements, and more is below:
Podcasts 1.0.1 provides a number of improvements, including:
• Significant improvements to performance and stability
• Podcasts in your library now show the number of unplayed episodes
• Top Stations now show the podcast title if artwork is missing
• Playback speed is now remembered when playing the next episode
• Fix for a problem where the Subscribe button is inactive
• Resolution of an issue where Top Stations artwork may not appear
Podcasts:If you have experienced issues with Apple’s Podcasts iOS app that released last month, as many have, you will be happy to know Apple plans to release an update today that brings a number of fixes to common bugs. According to a report from AllThingsD, “Apple has been hard at work tweaking the app to fix the problems that currently plague it” and the update expected today should “vastly improve it.”
AutoCAD WS version 1.5: Autodesk’s app for viewing, editing, and sharing AutoCAD drawings on iOS devices was updated today with two new “powerful collaboration tools that transform design creation, review, and approval into a social experience.” The two features include: Expand Expanding Close