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BBC iPlayer now lets you pause and resume shows on different devices

Nick Summers, @nisummers
August 19, 2015
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BBC iPlayer lets you watch TV shows on almost any device, but until now all of the different apps have felt like pretty siloed experiences. Well, that's soon going to change. An update rolling out this week is adding support for "cross-device resume," which, as the name suggests, lets you drop one device and pick up from where you left off on another. As long as you're signed in with a BBC ID, iPlayer will do the rest and automatically cue up your episodes on other devices. It'll be available on desktop, tablets and smartphones initially, but the BBC says it'll eventually come to set-top boxes and other TV hardware too.

Another new addition is "My Programmes." It's a separate tab on iPlayer which lets you resume episodes you've partially watched, select upcoming episodes in the same series and review everything in your Favourites. It's an amalgamation of the "My List" and "Continue Watching" carousels on Netflix, and should make it easier to burrow down into the shows you're actually interested in watching. The feature will arrive on tablets and phones later this week, before a full roll-out on TV platforms in the coming year.

"Live Restart," an option which lets you jump back to the beginning of a live TV show, has been available on desktop for three years. At last, the BBC has decided it should be available on all devices, and announced today that it would be coming to TV platforms such as YouView, Roku, Now TV, Amazon's Fire TV and the Xbox One this week. So if you've missed the start of something important, you no longer have to wait until it's over and uploaded to the iPlayer archives. All of these upgrades should be welcome news to iPlayer fans. Despite the furore around its future funding, the BBC clearly understands the importance of the platform and wants to make it a best-in-class experience. And with BBC Three almost certainly going online-only next year, it really needs to be.

[Image Credit: BBC/Love]

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