The BBC has announced that it is to offer a new range of applications that will deliver BBC Online services to a range of mobile devices.

The corporation will join the “app” bandwagon with the release of BBC News and BBC Sport applications on a wide range of smartphones, starting with a BBC News application for iPhone in April 2010.

Licence fee payers have already been able to access the BBC website on mobile phones for eight years and today’s announcement means that public service content can be better enjoyed on the move.

The apps will focus on providing quick access to the BBC’s existing journalistic content, which will be repurposed for the devices.

The BBC is also considering BBC iPlayer applications for release later in the year which will allow users to catch up with shows from stations like BBC Asian Network.

Erik Huggers said: “It’s been 12 years since the launch of BBC Online, but as media converges and technology accelerates, licence fee payers are increasingly using sophisticated handheld devices to access information. They tell us that they want to access the digital services that they have paid for at a time and place that suits them.

“Today’s announcement means that we are catching up with our audiences, and the same content that we broadcast on television and make available online can now be better enjoyed on the move.

“We are putting technology to work to create greater public value.”

All applications will be available free of charge.