Though you have been able to access BBC iPlayer on your iPhone for a while now, the launch of the dedicated iPhone BBC iPlayer App means you can now stream live TV and radio on your iPhone (as you can with the iPad app).
So is the content different from what you get on the web on the iPhone?
So can you download content for offline viewing? Like when you are on a train? Something you can do on your computer. Well no, you have to have a decent internet connection to watch BBC iPlayer.
Also you can’t use the service on 3G, you do need to be on wifi. Correction: I made an incorrect assumption you can access BBC iPlayer streams on your iPhone via 3G on both the App and the Web service. Of course be aware that streaming over 3G uses a lot of your bandwidth, so if you have a cap or are charged per GB be careful.
The main difference is that the app allows you to watch live BBC TV which is probably the main reason for getting the app, though remember you will need a TV licence to watch the live streams!
In the end I can’t see what the app adds that viewing on the iPlayer on Safari doesn’t have already, apart from “favourites”. What’s the point of that as most content disappears in under seven days anyway… I’ve not use that feature on the iPad and I doubt I will use it on the iPhone.
The app doesn’t have Airplay, though the web interface does, so a limitation there rather than an advantage.
Correction: The app does have support for AirPlay but it’s not intuitive. AirPlay is initiated outside the app by double clicking the home button and swiping right and pressing the AirPlay button; the streaming video will then be displayed through your AirPlay device (i.e. your Apple TV).
At the end of the day I am not sure what this brings to the iPhone, though from experience I have found the iPad app experience to be slightly better than the iPad web experience, but only slightly better.
Update: Of course the app and the streaming are only available in the UK.