Although the BBC News site has been available to any Android device with a browser for some time, it has taken a while for the app-based version to get officially launched in a tablet-friendly format. Thankfully this drought ended in January 2012 and the BBC News app is available in all its big-screen glory for your Android tablet right now.
The BBC News app is free to download and it is clear that having more screen space to play with has given the developers more opportunities to expand the platform and make it easier to see the stories which you might want to investigate in greater detail.
The app will be able to accommodate both landscape and portrait orientations, with everything jumping into place quickly when you rotate your tablet accordingly. The interface is intuitive, with side swipes letting you jump from one article to the next.
There is a full complement of multimedia features available as part of the BBC News app for Android tablets, which means you can watch embedded videos which accompany certain stories from within the program itself, rather than having to fire up a separate browser. You can also watch this content over Wi-Fi or 3G if your tablet supports it, so you can enjoy an in-depth look at world events when you are on the move.
Later in the year the BBC is planning to offer live streaming of its 24 hour news channel direct to the Android tablet app, a feature which is already available on the smartphone-based iteration of the software. This will make it even easier to get your fix of current affairs and see stories break in real-time without having to read oodles of text.
The BBC has been pushing the social aspect of its news coverage in recent months and so the Android tablet edition of the app lets you upload photos, videos and information on the stories which you have witnessed direct to the team. This will turn you into something of an amateur reporter if you really want to get involved.
Other features which will eventually be available from the tablet edition of the BBC News application include support for a live widget which will update itself with headlines as they roll in. In its current form you can customise the layout, from the font size to the categories you want to view, to give you a more bespoke experience. As such your Android tablet can become your newspaper, MP3 player, portable gaming device and much more.
Download from the Android Market.