ABC debuts first ever modern Windows App – for Surface and Win8.1 Tablets

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Only a few months ago, ABC Australia – yes the ABC we have been holding to account over their continued lack of Windows Phone support – released a new Tablet-only News and Current Affairs + Light entertainment App; The Brief. Initially launching in May 2014 on iPad – it made it’s way onto select Android tablet devices in July. Last month we confirmed that ABC Australia was working on it’s first Windows App (excluding Xbox) – with a planned release for Windows 8.1 touch devices.

That day has come.

Launching today in the Windows 8.1 store – “The Brief” can now be accessed for Windows RT and 8.1 Touch devices. The App is aimed at Surface Pro 2+ level performance in Windows tablets – however is available for ARM – and worked OK in initial tests tonight on our Gen1 Surface RT, if not slowly. Microsoft ecosystem users have the added bonus of being able to run it on their 8.1 desktops, even if you don’t have a touch screen and with a warning that it may not be an optimised experience.



Based on the ABC FAQ:


Windows 8 market penetration is growing in Australia. The Surface tablets, especially on past retail sales discounts, have sold very well to the education segment in Australia. Earlier this year we reported on the share of Surface device visits to the ABC website iView service – where it ranked very highly in ABC official stats. This does not excuse their absolute failure to consider WP Apps objectively – however we are right behind their Windows 8 effort and the speed with which it has come about.

As an App – it is important to remember that it is a V1 effort, not just for the App – but for the OS as well. So let’s get behind it and grab it from the store, put it on our devices and give the team some feedback on what we like and what we want to see improved! The Android App is showing as 500-1000 downloads in Google Play. I think we can do better than that folks!

Now back to normal WP ABC #OurABCToo transmissions.





  • Stefan

    so funny that it won’t work on my Gaming Level Laptop as that doesn’t have a TouchScreen as there is NO keyboard/mouse support in the App LOL I’ll shove it on my SurfaceRT and give it a go.

    • senór nickelass

      Hi Stefan, yes that’s a bit of a problem, I agree. We have let our development team know about device targeting issues. We are also working on a new version of the Windows App right now. Hopefully big improvements to come.

  • Sicarius123

    Wow they must be using some overly high res images, load times are pretty bad. Looks pretty otherwise, but really it’s something I have no interest in. Give us iView!

    • senór nickelass

      Hi Sicarius123, sorry to hear you have no interest in this but I understand this type of experience and content is not for everyone. Nevertheless, what device are you using to view The Brief? I’d be interested to feedback load time issues to the development team associated to device and connection type. This would help us improve this pilot product.

      • Sicarius123

        Hi Nickelass, it was using an intel i7 Lenovo Helix x86 touch screen tablet. I have had a look at the app again today though and notice the pictures for segments load pretty much instantly, whereas there were long load times on my initial comment a month ago. The buffering for the video’s could be a bit better given the low quality of the video itself, but that isn’t too bad either now.
        I am still very disappointed at ABC abandoning taxpayers who choose to use Microsoft ecosystems with no iView app for Windows 8, Windows Phone or the Xbox One. Especially given Windows Phone users are constantly told they wont get the app as not enough users view the website, when the website does not work on mobile browsers. In fact the iView website is so badly written it tells me I need flash under Windows Phone 8.1 or older, or to look for an app in the Apple App Store on my Windows Phone 8.1.1 or newer.

  • senór nickelass

    Hi, The Brief is now also available worldwide via the Windows Store.

    • jalyst

      And, that has what to do with this article/story?

      • senór nickelass

        “So let’s get behind it and grab it from the store, put it on our devices and give the team some feedback on what we like and what we want to see improved!”

        So now your international friends can also join the fun.

  • Krishnayan Swami

    Thanks for this informative and good article.Is it possible to develop an app on windows phone 8.1 without installing it? Actually I am still working on windows phone 7 and worry about its compatibility with emulators in windows phone 8.1.

    Windows 8 Development