Beeb Anywhere

Beeb Anywhere is a BBC News & Sport reader for Android devices.
It allows you to read the news offline – even when you have no signal, for example on a plane or the subway.  It also has the ability to automatically update in the background, so you’ll always have the latest news to read.

The downloaded news articles and thumbnail images are stored on the phone’s SD Card so they won’t consume precious phone memory.

Please note: if you enable ‘Periodic download’ (found under Menu -> Settings from the main screen) this will consume data in the background whenever your phone is switched on.  See the FAQ page for more information.

If you have problems with the application please report them below.  Thanks!

Please see the Change Log page for details of each release.

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Content is from BBC News and BBC Sport.  This news reader is not affiliated to the BBC.

Features

  • Instant access to stories without a network connection.
  • Simple and quick to use.
  • Select either the World or UK Edition.
  • Choose the news categories you are interested in.
  • Schedule periodic updates with a configurable interval.

Screenshots

 

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99 Responses to Beeb Anywhere

  1. Matt says:

    Hi, this is a great app, very minimal giving you just what you want, so thanks!

    Is the code available anywhere? I’m thinking of making an android app that uses some similar concepts (scraping content from websites and stripping out unnecessary elements) and would be interested to see how you did it.

    • twitchya2 says:

      Hi Matt, thanks for your kind comments, they’re much appreciated.

      The code isn’t available but I’d be happy to help with any specific questions you may have.

      Cheers, Ash.

  2. Nige says:

    1.5.1 downloaded today on my HTC Desire reports “Unable to download, please try again later” in each news category. I do have a good internet connection on my device ( just browsed to BBC News ). I get the same result for the UK and World editions.

    Happy to help with diagnosis.

    • twitchya2 says:

      Thanks for your help with the diagnosis, Nige.

      We eventually determined that this is being caused by Nige’s network provider appearing to modify the HTML received from the BBC site (it worked fine over WiFi). Hopefully version 1.5.2 (available for download from the Market now) should fix the problem.

      Ash

  3. james says:

    Could you add a night mode, with a black screen and white text?

  4. bjilly says:

    Amazong app. Thanks. Could you please implement text selection of the news to be able translate or google them (as implemented in the internet browser) ? Thanks.

    • twitchya2 says:

      Which version of Android and which device do you have? I don’t believe the stock browser has that feature.

      • bjilly says:

        I use such feature in the default browser on my HTC Desire with original Android 2.2. It’d be amazing to be able to do the same in your app. Thanks.

  5. Josh says:

    Hi there.
    This app is perfect for me except for one thing, it does not contain a Darts category. Would you consider adding this in the future? I believe there is only one app currently on the market with darts news and the app itself is poor to say the least.
    Thank you for the great work so far!

  6. L W Smith says:

    I have had no problem with BEEB until 12/30/10
    Then it started saying cannot access web site. Unistalled waited 1/2 day then reinstalled,very bu
    ggy,loaded twice then not at all, Uninstal . LW

    • twitchya2 says:

      Hi LW

      Thanks for getting in touch. Sorry to hear about your problems, could you answer a few questions to try to get to the bottom of this?

      1. What is the exact message you get?
      2. Which country are you in and which provider are you with?
      3. Does it work over Wi-fi?
      4. Does accessing the BBC site (http://bbc.co.uk/news/mobile) from the browser work okay?

      You could try selecting ‘Delete all stories’ and see if that helps.

  7. Alan Ogilvie says:

    Looks like this should be a great app… but doesn’t work at all for me 😦

    Any updates, either manual or scheduled, apparently fail to download new stories: accessing each category gives “Unable to download, please try again later”. I deleted all stories and repeated the update – same result. I even deleted the app and reinstalled it – same result.

    The weird thing is that some of the stories *were* apparently downloaded after the first install, and they are *still* there, even after deleting them all, and even after the reinstall! I just can’t get any new stories.

    This is all using wi-fi. Accessing the BBC site using any browser works fine. Android 2.1 (stock ROM) on Orange San Francisco.

    Happy to help with debugging – I really want this app to work 🙂

    • Alan Ogilvie says:

      Hmmmm… OK, I tried something different this time. I manually deleted the

      /sdcard/data/com.wordpress.twitchya2.ba

      directory and reinstalled – now it works fine. Strange, but I’m happy – the app is awesome! 🙂

      • twitchya2 says:

        Thanks Alan, for getting in touch and for your perseverance! The ‘Delete all stories’ option is supposed to do the same thing but I must have a bug in there. I don’t suppose you have a copy of the directory from when it wasn’t working?

        Cheers
        Ash

  8. mark says:

    Really like this, awesome dark theme. Any chance of video implementation in the future? And a headline widget?

  9. berio says:

    Thanks for a really nice app. It’d be nice to be able to swipe to the next article. Just a thought. Cheers

  10. rob says:

    The past few days I am getting the message “unable to download”.

    Has been a great app until then.

    Thanks.

  11. rob says:

    Sorry about previous post. A reboot solved the hiccup!
    I also updated to the new version. Love the swipe to next article.
    Thanks for a great app.

  12. Mandeep says:

    One of the most used app on my phone.

    One problem though, the new BBC Sport website has stopped the app working. Can you look into it please

  13. Alan says:

    Any chance of making a larger font size that can be set as the default, current option (largest) not large enough for me. . I can pinch to zoom but then have to do it on every story.

    • twitchya2 says:

      Hi Alan

      Sure. The current font sizes are:

      12 (Smallest), 14 (Small), 16 (Medium), 18 (Large), 20 (Largest)

      What size do you think you need? 22, 24?

  14. Jason says:

    My Beeb Anywhere has stopped downloading news items. I have a Galaxy S. It’s just happened in the last two days, the stories were getting less and less, now it doesn’t update at all.

    • twitchya2 says:

      Hi Jason, thanks for letting me know.
      Does a manual update using “Update all now” work? Does it work over Wifi?
      Ash

      • Jason says:

        Yes, the “Update all now” worked just now. Thanks for a great app, I have it set on the dark setting (more apps should have that) and it reminds me on the much missed Ceefax teletext service! Keep up the good work!

  15. Duncan Robertson says:

    Using Archos G9 – not getting text on going to story. No error message. Tried deleting all messages and updating no success, also tried re-installing app to no avail! Any suggestions ? Duncan Robertson

    • twitchya2 says:

      Hi Duncan, has it ever worked? Are you using the dark theme (does it work with the light one)? Which Android version is that using?
      Cheers, Ash.

      • Duncan Robertson says:

        Thanks it did work with dark theme before. Just tried white theme and is OK ! Not too concerned if can’t get dark theme but would be nice if there’s an easy fix ! Thanks for reply. Duncan

      • twitchya2 says:

        Which version are you using? There was a problem with the dark theme that was recently fixed.

  16. Duncan Robertson says:

    Can’t find version . I did reinstall app recently, so assume it has all the fixes ! Duncan

  17. Dave says:

    I love this app for its simplicity, minimal phone memory usage (how refreshing to hear a developer acknowledge that phone memory is “precious” – especially on older phones) and the ability to download from Wi-Fi and then read on the move with minimal data comsumption.

    But there’s one irritation for me. Sometimes “update all now” doesn’t start working for a minute or so after it’s selected. But if, while waiting, I then go into the first news category and select “update now” it starts the whole update of all categories immediately. Can this be fixed to eliminate this delay? I’d estimate it happens about 50% of the time.

    (Beeb Anywhere v2.3, HTC Legend, Froyo)

    • twitchya2 says:

      Hi Dave

      Thank you for the kind comments.

      The delay you’re seeing is most likely the clean-up process which I do before starting the actual updates. I look for and delete, any old articles before starting the updates of the various categories. This is essential for ensuring the app doesn’t fill up your SD card! I guess on older phones with quite a few categories selected it could take a minute or so. The clean-up is only done if the previous “Update All” was more than one day ago.

      Cheers
      Ash

      • Dave says:

        Thanks for your reply to my earlier question.

        I understand your explanation and I accept that the clean-up process is necessary. But how about a message to inform the user that’s what it’s doing – as this app does in some other situations? The unexplained apparent pause at present gives the impression (however inaccurate) that the app isn’t responding or isn’t functioning correctly.

  18. Paula M says:

    Hi! I use this app on my Kindle Fire and love it! Any chance of an iOS version for my iPad??

    • twitchya2 says:

      Hi Paula, good to hear it works well on the Fire. I don’t have the time or motivation for an iOS version, and I don’t think iOS supports things like background updates anyway.

  19. Norman says:

    This wonderful app that I have used for around 2years seems to have developed problems downloading articles when doing an update. I am using a Galaxy s3 on ICS. It was working on about 10 days ago and has gradually got worse, I I have tried reinstalling, and but no joy. Can you please look into this. Many Thanks Norman.

    • twitchya2 says:

      Thanks Norman, looking into it now.

      UPDATE: This is fixed in version 2.4 (available now on Google Play).

      • Norman says:

        Fantastic, thank you so much. I spent time looking for a similar app today, just in case this was no longer supported and found nothing to match it for its accuracy, simplicity, and it’s ability to zoom when reading off line. This is the best and I am pleased to see it all working again. Many many thanks,
        Norman

  20. Mark says:

    Dark theme makes text in stories impossible to read. White text on a white backround. This is still a must have app, great work and thank you.

    • twitchya2 says:

      Hi Mark, works fine for me as background is black. What phone are you using? What version of Android? Was it working with the previous version of the app or is this the first time you’ve tried it? Thanks, Ash.

      • Mark says:

        I’m on ics with xperia u. It worked perfectly before the last update and the same version works on both my xperia x8’s, 1 on ics and the other on cm7. Its a strange 1 but its not a big problem. Thanks for your reply.

      • twitchya2 says:

        Could you try this?
        It’s essentially the same as version 2.4 but with a change to when I set the background colour.

        https://www.dropbox.com/s/d52k4b8fufwjdf9/Beeb%20Anywhere.apk

      • Mark says:

        Comment added 09-10-12
        I tried the version you uploaded and its the same. All the menu’s are ok, dark backround with white text but when I read any story both the text and backround are white. The web link at the bottom of each story remains cyan and the picture is visible. My girlfriends HTC One v has no problems with the current version of beeb. Thanks for your attempts to fix my issue but I suspect Sony are the culprits.

  21. Nickodad says:

    Had this app since mid May on Kindle Fire, worked well until about a week ago. Updates now only coming for Sports links like Formula 1 and Rugby Union. On the News feeds like Top Stories, World, England only getting sports related headlines and nothing on Science, Politics, Economy. Any chance that you can fix this? I have Vers. 2.4 from Amazon app store. Kindle fire is not recognised by Google Play, so cannot try their version.

    • twitchya2 says:

      The problems you describe are exactly the ones fixed by 2.4. Are you sure you’ve got 2.4? Unfortunately I don’t have any way of testing this, all I know is that it’s working fine a devices using the Play Store. Perhaps try uninstalling it and re-installing.

  22. Nickodad says:

    Thought I had Vers. 2.4, but managed to check the prog. and it was 2.2. Did an uninstall and downloaded from Amazon where they have your latest vers. 2.4. Great, all the feeds working okay, now have all the headline links that I have chosen. Whilst I had Vers.2.2 from the initial download in Mid May and it all worked okay, what happened to change things about a week ago, when the Vers.2.4 was around from June?
    Thanks for the help and rapid response.

    • twitchya2 says:

      The BBC have changed their website so that even if you ask for the mobile version you get redirected to the full one unless you have a UserAgent from a mobile browser. My app only handles the mobile site and wasn’t explicitly setting the UserAgent.

      Version 2.4 was only released a few days ago.

  23. Dave says:

    Hi again

    I just opened the menu (Menu key) with the intention of selecting “Update all now” but I accidentally clicked “Delete all stories”. And it did. Nothing I could do to stop it! This meant that my next update required a full download of all stories, which used 2.3MB of data. I know it was my own fault – although in mitigation I’m only human and fingers do slip. But my gripe is that there was no “are you sure?” warning prompt that is common with “delete all” type software commands.

    Can you please incorporate an “Are you sure you want to delete all stories?” type warning when the “Delete all stories” command?

    Incidentally, what is the purpose of the “Delete all” function? Why would you want to do it?

    BTW I still think Beeb Anywhere s a great app for all the reasons I said before.

    Thank you!

    (Beeb Anywhere v2.4, HTC Legend, Froyo)

    • twitchya2 says:

      I’m already working on moving it to the Settings screen, will be in the next version.

      • Dave says:

        OK & thanks for the prompt response. Demoting “Delete All” to the Settings menu would help. But can you add a warning as I’ve suggested too? 🙂

  24. john says:

    Hi
    UK edition, problem updating top stories. Now 4 days old.

    Great app

    Thanks

    • twitchya2 says:

      Hi John,

      It’s working okay for me. Could you try ‘Delete all stories’ from the Settings menu and see if that helps?

      Cheers
      Ash.

  25. WJRH says:

    Can you add the option to only download when on wifi. You can then set regular automatic updates without worrying about the amount of data you are downloading.

    Thank in advance.

  26. Neal Richardson says:

    In my SOCCER category, I have two articles that have been stuck there for many months. No matter what I do, I can’t get rid of them. All the other stories update but these two stay stuck behind. They are:

    1. Sporting spotlight: Mikael Silvestre
    2. Spartak and survival – the story of Nikolai Starostin

    I have deleted all stories, removed and reinstalled the app, but nothing works. They just keep coming back.

  27. Nigel Smith says:

    Great app – shame I’ve now got problems – Football-Premier League is 1 day old and Technology, England, Top Stories, World all 2 days old. Tried deleting cache, all data, deleting stories, refreshing endlessly, nothing fixes it. I’m using Nexus 5. I also notice app is no longer on Play store. Is it dead?
    Thanks for any info

  28. Richard Jones says:

    Love this app. I use it several times a day. When I update it says it has updated but the stories are still from a couple of days ago. Any ideas what;s happening. I love this app! Thanks for doing it

    • twitchya2 says:

      Thanks Richard. I suspect that the BBC site has changed again and broken the app. This has happened a few times in the past and I’ve always managed to fix it again. However, unfortunately the BBC have had Google remove the app from the Play Store, so even if I did fix it I wouldn’t be able to get the update out to people.

      The only way I’m willing to continue maintaining the app is if it’s reinstated on the Google Play Store. For that to happen the BBC need to contact Google and request that it’s republished. I’ve asked them but they refused.

  29. kwn says:

    Typical BBC – That you can produce a News App far superior to their own despite all the resources they have means they should be congratulating you rather than blocking the app. Why not charge for the app to cover your costs for maintaining it? I for one would be happy to pay.

  30. Richard Jones says:

    Agreed boo BBC. The app is amazing and I’m really missing it. Boo BBC!

  31. Tony says:

    I like this app and most categories do update, but not all. Is there any way of issuing a patch to make all categories update?

    • twitchya2 says:

      I’ll look into uploading the APK here for people to install and also update the app on the Amazon app store.

      Which categories aren’t updating?

  32. Dave says:

    Hi @twitchya2

    So glad to hear you’re considering keeping this app running (whatever you name it! :-; ) – if this means I can download it directly from a website. I love this app for its simplicity, its low memory usage and its ability to avoid 3G data usage by downloading over WiFi before venturing out. So here’s another big vote in favour from me.

    re updating categories: It varies somewhat – at present, all categories except “Top Stories” appear to be updating OK. But “World” was also not updating until about a week ago, then it started working again. It appears to be a bit random…

    Eagerly awaiting further developments…

  33. Dave says:

    PS Sorry I forgot to tick the ” Notify me of follow-up comments via email” box last time, duh! I couldn’t edit the previous post. Does this system remember a previous “notify” tick or only the tick status of the most recent posting?

  34. kenwneill says:

    Top Stories & Scotland categories not updating for me.

  35. twitchya2 says:

    I’ve provided a download link to version 2.8 which should fix the download problems for now. See the latest post.

  36. kenwneill says:

    2.8 installed and working for all my selected topics. Great to have this app back again. Thanks again!!

  37. Dave says:

    Version 2.8 working great on all news categories. Thanks for fixing this.

    So I guess that’s it for now – until the next BBC change breaks it again! 😉

  38. Kevin Moore says:

    Hi Ash,
    Only just found your site, I am very pleased you are still developing this app, despite the BBC 😦
    I have now updated to 2.8, but I’m still having a problem with the Cycling section. All the news stories, when you select them say “BBC Sport (international version) We’re sorry but this article is not accessible from the UK……” I’ve tried it with ‘UK Edition’ selected and un-selected just in case, it made no difference. If there is any chance you could have a look at this I’d be extremely grateful. Thanks for all your hard work. Regards, Kevin

    • twitchya2 says:

      Thanks for letting me know Kevin. I think I’ve managed to fix this in version 2.9 (links available in post and on download page). Also fixed a few things that have been bugging me for a while.

  39. Dave says:

    Thanks for the v2.9 update – it’s looking great! And thanks for finally eliminating those curiously old stories that were lurking in Tennis & elsewhere – I might have known it was Auntie’s fault!

    One of the many things I love about this app is that it retrieves ALL current stories in each category to – even though many articles often can’t be found on the BBC news website!

    I can’t thank you enough for continuing to develop this app off-market for us devotees. Long may it continue!

  40. Kevin Moore says:

    Hi Ash,
    Fantastic, installed 2.9 and all looks great so far, many thanks.
    I love your app, because it downloads all the news, so i can read it at my leisure, without being connected and it is nicely minimalist. The only feature I would suggest would be to allow you to configure the time that it downloads, I currently download once a day, early morning, with maybe a manual update later if I think something interesting is going on, but currently the download time is whenever you last rebooted, or turned the download feature on and off, it’s very much a ‘would be nice’ so don’t worry about it.
    It’s a shame the BBC are so stupid, what about all the other apps on Google that call them selves BBC…..
    Anyway, thanks again for a brilliant App. Regards, Kevin.

  41. Mario Sarno says:

    Hi

    Been using your app for years and love it, have tried other news apps but always come back to this one!

    Looks like though the BBC has made changes again, when I refresh my Top Stories category, I get about 4 sports related articles and nothing else. Seemed to have only happened since today (24th September)

    Mario

    • twitchya2 says:

      Thanks Mario,

      Yeah, seeing the same, will try and look into it soon.

      Ash

      • Mario Sarno says:

        Hi Ash,

        2.9.2 is working great, thanks again!

        One feature I’ve always wanted is one where I can specify specific times for the news stories to update. Like for instance have it update 5-10 minutes before I wake up in the morning so that its ready for when i’m awake, and maybe at other times in the day like when I go for lunch, come home from work etc. That would be excellent if you could somehow get something like that in 🙂

        Mario

  42. Gary Thomas says:

    Top stories not working since yesterday.. Mainly sport stories

    • twitchya2 says:

      Thanks for letting me know, seeing the same problem here. Not sure when I’ll get a chance to look into it right now though.

      • Kevin Moore says:

        Hi Ash,
        Understand you are buisy, so no rush. Just wanted to say I still use your app several times a day, even abroad, to keep up with the news, as far as I know it’s the only one that allows you to sync with the news when available, allowing it to be read anywhere. I hope you are able to keep it working despite the BBC.
        Thanks again. Kevin.

      • twitchya2 says:

        I’ve just tried updating and it seems to be working again. Working again for you?

      • Kevin Moore says:

        Hi Ash, Yes seems to be working well again 🙂 I hadn’t known there had been an update, so I’ve also updated to the latest 2.9.4. Hope you can keep it going.
        Thanks for your hard work. Kevin.

  43. Dave says:

    Yes – working again – thanks Ash! Must have been a BBC glitch and nothing to do with your app.

    As with your other band of loyal followers, I still use this app daily as the only truly offline news reader. Thank you for continuing to make this app available and long may it continue.

    Cheers

  44. Kevin Moore says:

    Hi Ash,
    Looks like the Beeb have been playing around again, in virtually all of my categories, when I select a story all I get is the headline and a share link. 😦
    Hope you will have the time to be able to fix it at some point and it’s fixable.
    Regards, Kevin.

    • twitchya2 says:

      Hi Kevin, yeah I noticed that this morning too. I’m able to scroll down to read the story though. Not great and I’ll try to look into it but at least you can still read the story.
      Ash

  45. Kevin says:

    Hi Ash,
    Do you know I hadn’t even noticed that. 😦
    In that case don’t worry, I suppose it’d be nice to get rid of it, but otherwise it’s fine. 🙂
    Many Thanks. Kevin.

  46. Kevin says:

    Hi Ash, just just noticed your 2.10 update. Story thumbnails now working great. 🙂
    Thanks very much. Kevin

  47. Kevin says:

    Hi Ash, looks like the Beeb have done something again, all the stories show up ok under their sections, but when I select to read a story there is just a series of links to Shitface and Twatter. Any chance you can have a look. 🙂
    Many thanks.
    Kevin.

    • Kevin says:

      Hi Ash,
      Just realised the story is there, you just have to scroll down a screen or two, so not vital, but would be nice to fix, as and when.
      Thanks, Kevin.

    • twitchya2 says:

      Thanks Kevin, fixed in version 2.10.2.

      • Kevin says:

        Thanks Ash,
        I’m in Crete on hols, where your app is even more useful than normal, have installed and working great 🙂
        Thank you.
        Kevin.

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