If you're a Windows Phone 8 user, you're probably used to waiting for apps for everything from social networking through to entertainment. The ABC, for example, has been under pressure for months to release a native app for its iView platform. One Microsoft Australia developer got tired of waiting, and has hacked together his own iView client for Windows Phone 8 and 8.1. Update: The app has now been taken down in mysterious circumstances.
His name is Tom Hollander, and he works as a .NET developer for Microsoft in Sydney.
Tom's latest work is called iView FTW! and it's a surprisingly clean and functional version of iView that runs natively on both Windows Phone 8.1 handsets and Windows RT tablets.
It has all the latest shows in the current ABC iView rotation and allows you to stream over both Cellular and Wi-Fi networks.
The only issue we found with the app is that the video has some pretty regular glitches where frames jump around as a shot changes.
The ABC has told us that it wasn't aware of the app before it went up, and added that it currently hasn't allocated any developer resources to make a native iView app for the Windows Phone platform.
Auntie added that iView users who want to access the service on Windows Phone devices can navigate to the iView page via Internet Explorer on their devices.
Well this is weird.
The app has now disappeared from the Windows Phone store. Microsoft hasn't answered our calls on the matter. Interestingly, the ABC — normally very chatty about iView matters — clammed right up when asked why it was taken down. "We won't be commenting further," we were told over the phone.
In a statement to The Register, Microsoft said that it's investigating Tom Hollander's app, adding that it takes intellectual property very seriously.
When we asked the ABC yesterday about whether the iView FTW app would infringe on anyone's copyright, we couldn't get a clear answer either way. From the "investigation" being undertaken by Microsoft through to the ABC's firm silence on the matter, I think we can assume that Mr Hollander may have inadvertently walked into a legal minefield by hacking together an unofficial iView client.