Old BBC iPlayer 8.1 app stops working, it's Edge or bust!

Published by at

As promised, as part of its dropping of numerous 'older' platforms, the BBC has finally disabled content streaming to its Windows Phone 8.1 'wrapper' application. Trying to access content now just shows an error message, with a helpful page chatting about needing to use the Edge browser from now on. For most AAWP readers this won't be a problem, I suspect, since you'll have upgraded older phones a while back - but there will be some people on older phones or who haven't yet made the jump to Windows 10 Mobile. Hopfully the latter will be kickstarted by iPlayer's change in circumstances.


The BBC do explain all this very well:

Can I still use BBC iPlayer on my Windows Phone once the app closes in April 2017?

Yes, with your Edge browser you can still access BBC iPlayer providing you have Windows 10 Mobile installed.

Why are you closing the app?

When the BBC iPlayer app was originally created it was not technically possible to playback BBC programmes via the browser. As it’s now possible to playback via the browser it’s no longer cost effective for the BBC to maintain a BBC iPlayer app for Windows mobile devices. And by using the browser version of BBC iPlayer, Windows phone users will get the benefits of the web version as it evolves.

Should I update to Windows 10 Mobile?

Many phones running Windows Phone 8.1 are able to update to Windows 10 Mobile and Microsoft have created the Windows 10 Mobile Upgrade Advisor app which can check whether your device can be upgraded.

If you do upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile, you’ll be able to play content from BBC iPlayer and BBC iPlayer Radio. If you remain on Windows Phone 8.1, you’ll only be able to play radio programmes.

Not much will change for most AAWP readers then, most people reading this have a Windows 10 Mobile native (or upgrade-compatible) phone.

For quick access you can pin a shortcut tile on your phone’s start screen to BBC iPlayer. Here’s how:

  • Navigate to www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer in your Edge browser
  • Tap ‘more options’ (the ellipses) button at the bottom right of the screen
  • Select ‘Pin this page to start’ 

Here are some screenshots of iPlayer working under Windows 10 Mobile and Edge:


The BBC is right about Edge being good enough to just dish up the 'full' iPlayer web experience - it's seamless and only a tap or two different (the Download issue aside) to iPlayer applications on other platforms. 

Comments welcome, of course!