BBC adopts Windows Phone to connect with children | Mobile Apps | Mobile Entertainment

BBC adopts Windows Phone to connect with children

Tree Fu Tom
Zen Terrelonge

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Apps / October 2nd 2013 at 1:58PM

CBeebies Playtime extended to Microsoft OS just six weeks after iOS and Android launch.

The Beeb introduced the scholastic game-based CBeebies Playtime app in August, at which time it told ME that while 'mobiles can educate kids, they shouldn't be used all day'.

A fair comment, of course, and the company has now extended the service beyond iOS and Android and over to Windows Phone 8. The app was built from cross-platform tools provider Unity, meaning a just a single codebase was used to make the expansion.

The WinPho launch comes at quite a good time. The OS's share of smartphone sales in the UK has risen from 4.5 per cent to 12 per cent over the past year.

Patrick Healy, head of product for children's at BBC Future Media, said: "Children’s media consumption habits are changing rapidly and it’s important for us to be able to reach them wherever they are."

The app uses all device features, such as touchscreen and accelerometer, to encourage kids interact with the content in the various ways they can't with TV or PC.

"The only way we can bring this content to new mobile audiences is through a new native app, which we’ve done for Windows Phone 8 users in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.

"Our strategy from the start of the CBeebies Playtime build was to use a single codebase which can be branched to target our required mobile platforms. Unity was the technology workflow used, allowing us to develop rich 2D and 3D game experiences that could scale.

"By using the single codebase workflow, we can add further games content and features to these platforms as needed, without the overhead of repeating major work for each platform. This allows us to efficiently maintain as synchronised an approach as possible to the releases in each app store."