AT&T extended its U-Verse Mobile application to Android on Monday, tapping into the operating system's growing popularity by offering the TV-viewing software on the Android Market and several phones.
U-Verse Mobile lets subscribers to AT&T's U-Verse IPTV (Internet Protocol television) service view a program guide, schedule a DVR (digital video recorder) and download selected shows for viewing on the handset. It is already available on Apple's popular iPhone and two Research In Motion BlackBerry devices, and the company has said it will be offered on the Microsoft Windows Phone 7 devices that AT&T announced last week.
On Monday, the carrier made U-Verse Mobile available on the Android Market and on the Samsung Captivate and HTC Aria Android phones. U-Verse Mobile will also be included on the upcoming Motorola Bravo and Flipside phones, AT&T said Monday. Any U-Verse subscriber can download U-Verse Mobile from the Android Market, but AT&T only guarantees it will work on the list of devices it has named.
Android continues to soar among smartphone operating systems as it hits the market on new handsets from a wide range of manufacturers. It was the most popular OS among smartphone buyers in the middle of this year, according to a recent Nielsen report. AT&T introduced a U-Verse Mobile app for its flagship iPhone earlier this year and is bringing it to Android just a few months later. The carrier has not disclosed the number of subscribers using U-Verse Mobile, AT&T spokeswoman Jenny Bridges said.
U-Verse provides as many as 400 TV channels delivered over AT&T's fiber-to-the-curb network. It is offered in several packages, including plans bundled with broadband Internet access and phone service. Extending elements of the service to mobile phones advances AT&T toward a dream of service providers to sell services that span TVs, PCs and mobile devices. To use the mobile application, U-Verse subscribers need to have the U300 package, priced at US$82 per month, or a higher option. In July, AT&T said it had 2.5 million U-Verse subscribers.
With U-Verse Mobile, downloads are available for selected shows from ABC, the Disney Channel, ESPN, Animal Planet and other content providers. Subscribers can only download the shows over Wi-Fi and store them on the device for later viewing, but the only limit to downloads is the amount of storage space on the mobile device, Bridges said.