The British Broadcasting Corporation has made its iPlayer app plans that extra bit more official by announcing that iPad- and Android-specific versions of its software will be arriving by the end of this week. The iPlayer is a free TV catchup service hosting the best and most popular (those two being almost mutually exclusive categories) from the BBC's catalog of recent programming, and the new native apps promise to bring that to your portable device in a touchscreen-optimized format with a "simple and intuitive design." The finishing touches are being applied right now and the apps should be with us before the week is through, but the real cause for excitement is that the BBC plans to take the iPlayer out for an international walk, which will likely rely on such platform-specific apps for distribution and the collection of subscription fees. Then we can all watch Question Time together, yay!

P.S. - Take note, Android users, that you'll need to have Froyo and Flash Player 10.1 installed on your phone or tablet in order to partake in the new app. Sort of a one step forward, one step back maneuver.

[Thanks, Jules]

Update: The iPad app is now ready to download in the App Store. Thanks, Tom!