Channel 4 basically pioneered online catch-up services when it launched 4oD for PCs eight years ago. Since then, 4oD has evolved and improved, most recently adding offline viewing for mobile devices and the ability to stream over 3G and 4G networks. Back in May, however, Channel 4 CEO David Abraham teased a "significant upgrade" to the service -- incidentally, the BBC pushed its iPlayer redesign out around the same time -- and today we're learning more about what that will entail. For starters, 4oD will be renamed "All 4" to reflect its comprehensive nature, with a new logo for good measure. It'll incorporate all the live channel feeds, on-demand content and Channel 4 shorts you can already find on 4oD, but packaged in a brand new user interface.
The UI is set to be the biggest change, with Channel 4's sample imagery giving us an idea of how the new visuals-driven look will appear iPads. The much simpler layout will split content into three categories: On Demand, Now and On Soon. As you've probably worked out, the first will be home to the standard catch-up archive, but will also include related content like interviews and picture galleries. The "Now" tab is where you'll find live channel streams alongside "interactive content formats," short videos including news nuggets, and social media feeds so you can keep up with all the Come Dine With Me banter. "On Soon" is the hub for finding out what's... on soon. It'll serve up show promos and "exclusive episode premieres" before they air on TV, as well as letting you set reminders for anything that takes your fancy.
If you have an existing Channel 4 account or register a new one (currently not required to watch anything on 4oD), your All 4 experience will also be tailored based on your viewing habits. There's still some time to wait before getting your hands on the new-look 4oD, as it's not due to start rolling out until the end of March next year. All 4 will be hitting PC and iOS platforms first, with Android, smart TVs, consoles, set-top boxes and the like welcomed to the fold during 2015.