The broadcaster estimates that over 96 percent of people who use the iPlayer app on Android should be covered by the roll-out.
It means they’ll now be able to download their favorite TV programmes and watch them at a later date, regardless of whether or not they have a stable Internet connection. Downloads can be kept for 30 days, although once the viewer presses play access is revoked a week later.
It’s also worth noting that although less than a dozen devices were supported at launch, at the time the BBC estimated these represented 70 percent of its Android user base. Even so, the expanded support is welcome and should also cover the next wave of flagship smartphones, such as the HTC One (M8), Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2.
The BBC warned that with such a large roll-out, some devices would “likely” experience some bugs. “Should the BBC be made aware of a major issue with the downloads feature that is affecting a particular device, we now have the option to disable this feature for that specific model/OS combination, while we assess whether it can be fixed.”
The BBC first introduced video downloads to the iOS version of its iPlayer app in September 2012. Support for the majority of Android devices has certainly been a long time coming.