The "funded by licence payers" excuse put out by the BBC doesn't hold water.
Even if you are a resident of the UK and a BBC licence-payer, you will find the iPlayer app doesn't work if you try to use it outside the UK. UK residents who have tried to use it overseas will already know this.
Being able to use it when you travel abroad would be one of the three useful features most people would like to see - but the BBC won't let you do that.
The second useful thing it could do would be to give users the ability to download programmes, but...... you guessed it - the BBC doesn't allow that either.
That just leaves its third function, which is to fill the gap in those very rare situations where there is no actual television available, such as during a power outage or if stranded in a car; but in those situations you would be relying on a slow 3G signal, so it probably wouldn't work anyway.
The BBC iPlayer app is therefore pretty much useless, IMO.