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New BBC Sounds App faces user backlash


With great fanfare, the BBC officially launched its new Sounds app last week. Early feedback shows many users have got issues with it.

BBC Sounds brings together the BBC's existing live and on-demand radio content with a whole new library of podcasts. Four months after the app was first made available, the BBC held a high profile official launch event last week, followed by a flurry of on-air promotions across the BBC's outlets.

But nearly a week after the official launch, app stores for Amazon, Android and iOS have been flooded with negative reviews and reports of technical gremlins.

Ratings on the Apple's iOS app store has seen the BBC Sounds app drop to 2.8 stars out of 5 on Monday morning, with users complaining of the loss of some features they enjoyed on iPlayer Radio, incompatibility with older devices, and generally falling short of the standards of previous offerings. The number of 1 star reviews now outnumbers 5 star reviews.

Meanwhile on Google Play, the app has dropped to 2.5 stars out of 5 with Android users complaining about the search functionality and mourning the loss of sleep/alarm clock features.

Amazon users appear to be the most content with the new app, with it getting over 3 out of 5, despite a steady flow of 1 star reviews, highlighting ongoing technical and compatibility issues encountered by users.

The BBC intends to retire the BBC iPlayer Radio app soon in favour of the BBC Sounds App, although an exact date is yet to be confirmed. However it seems many listeners will need persuading to drop what they still see as a superior app, unless additional updates are made to BBC Sounds to address the issues faced.
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