BBC News enters a new era of Android launch

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The BBC News app was launched on iPhone and iPad last July.

It took its time to make it out onto Apple devices due to waiting for approval from the BBC Trust, but when it emerged we anticipated an Android version following quite soon, or at least before the end of 2010.

That didn’t happen – and in fact the Beeb has only just finally announced the release of the Android version of its news app almost a year later. You can now grab it from the Android Market.

Apparently the iGadget version of the app has proved pretty popular, with almost 3 million downloads clocked up in this country, and another 3 million internationally. BBC Worldwide will also be launching the Android version on a global basis soon.

The Beeb says the number of downloads of the app are increasing as time goes by, and that it has been “a trusted bookmark during moments of national and international significance”.

Osama’s death saw a record 540,000 UK users reading the details on their mobile, and the royal wedding attracted 376,000 readers on the day.

Like the iPhone app, the Android version is free, and works on version 1.6 or better – but for support of live streaming the BBC News channel you need Flash, which requires Android 2.2 to work.

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Which seems a bit odd as obviously the iOS version doesn’t use Flash. The further bad news is that when it comes to tablets, Honeycomb (Android 3.0) isn’t supported.