ABC launches Android and iPhone applications

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s web site is very popular but it’s not terribly mobile-friendly with a lot of content on display on very small screens. That’s set to change with the the national broadcaster announcing ABC Mobile this morning. The new mobile site features sections for News Weather Sport TV Movies Local News JJJ ABC Radio Movie Reviews and ABC Shop.

The ABC Mobile site is all big friendly buttons and pretty quick although we’re cheating and looking at it over a WiFi connection.

 â€œThe ABC is already a leading provider of digital media content in Australia” Managing Director Mark Scott said in the official release. “But we are now delivering even more with this significant move onto the mobile platform. ABC Mobile provides yet another way for Australians to access reliable quality content wherever and whenever they choose.”

Scott also announced that the ABC had developed applications for the iPhone and Android platforms that would be available free of charge. The iPhone Application is a little tricky to find — as you might expect the search term “ABC” returns more than a few results — but once installed offers a richer interface than the basic ABC Mobile one including the ability to download and watch ABC-related video and audio podcasts although you still can’t stream radio through it. Users of other smartphone platforms can expect a basic Java application “soon” to cover the functionality of the iPhone and Android applications.

An ABC spokesperson told APC that they expected the iPhone application to be available later this afternoon in the “Entertainment And News” category under the catchy App name of “Australian Broadcasting Corporation“. While that’s not the most stunning name it should at least help it stand out from a plethora of applications that just happen to have “ABC” in the title. Users of other smartphone platforms can expect a basic Java application “soon” to cover the functionality of the iPhone and Android applications.

The main news page which presumably won’t always feature a picture of a man picking his nose.

 At launch it’s a text and image service only; according to the release this is to “keep data charges low” although it does mean that for example the radio listings are schedules only and not links that allow for live radio streaming along with some News on the JJJ channel. We’re a little dumbfounded by the link to ABC Newsradio simply because it is just a link to the schedules… when they’ll read you out the news. Which you could access yourself on the mobile portal but not listen to. While we’re mildly complaining they also seem to have missed a trick as there’s no automatic or optional redirect for smartphones to the new portal.

You can check the ABC mobile service at or if you like spending money on SMSes SMSing the word ‘ABC’ to 19 712 111 to receive a live link to the site a step that’ll cost you 55c for the privilege. Those who delight in their mobile phone’s awful camera can alternatively use the QR code found on the ABC Mobile Web site.