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4OD app returns to Android, minus Flash requirement

UK broadcaster Channel 4 has relaunched its 4 on Demand (4oD) catch-up TV service on Android, bringing its shows to newer devices that can't run Adobe Flash.

The free application, available for all Android tablets and smartphones running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or above, provides access to most programmes broadcast in the last thirty days across the company's Channel 4, More 4 and E4 channels. Additional on-demand content includes classic shows and other archived programmes which have not been broadcast within the cut-off deadline.

Sadly, the app doesn't include any facility for watching live or near-live TV, something Channel 4 had originally promised ahead of launch. Whether that will be made available in a future update is not yet clear, but for now the app provides at least more access to Channel 4 content than was previously possible on devices that don't run Adobe Flash Player - a requirement for the company's web-based 4oD service.

The new 4oD app replaces the previous Android release, which has been languishing without updates for quite some time and required Adobe Flash Player to be installed on the handset before it would operate - something that can't be easily achieved on a modern Android tablet or smartphone. It joins the company's other 4oD offerings, such as apps for Apple's iOS devices and games consoles including the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

"We're pleased to be able to extend our successful video-on-demand service to this range of modern Android devices with a dedicated 4oD app," Channel 4's Sarah Milton said of the launch. "Users will now be able to catch up on their favourite Channel 4 shows and enjoy many more classics from the Channel 4 archive via their smartphones and tablets."

The app is available to download now for free via Google Play, and requires an Android 4.0 or higher device with a Wi-Fi connection - streaming over a mobile network is not supported, even for those on an unlimited tariff.

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