The UK satellite TV broadcaster launched Sky Go back in July 2011, after merging its existing Sky Player and Sky Mobile TV services, and initially it was only available on iOS mobile devices. Sky Go allows subscribers to watch both live and ‘on-demand’ video content on computers, mobile device and games consoles, and it’s available for free to Sky TV subscribers. Sky also revealed last month that Apple-branded devices alone had reeled in 1.5 million unique users in December alone.
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As we previously noted, the Sky Go Android app is only available in the UK and Ireland on a limited range of Android devices to begin with: HTC Desire, HTC Desire S, HTC Desire HD, HTC Incredible, HTC Sensation, Samsung Galaxy S, and Samsung Galaxy S II. Furthermore, Sky’s content will also be accessible through a 3G connection, though of course this will consume a lot of data.
Last November, we reported that Sky was including movies-on-demand with Sky Go, meaning you can tap in to all eleven Sky Movies’ channels wherever you roam. The service brings access to 22 live channels in total, depending on what you subscribe to, and includes all four Sky Sports channels, plus Sky Sports News, ESPN, Sky News and Sky 1.
The lack of support for Android tablets and limited availability on smartphones may be to some customers’ chagrin, but it seems Sky is looking to restrict the service to only the most suitable of handsets for the timebeing. “We fully appreciate how much Android users have been looking forward to the launch of Sky Go, and we’ve done everything we can to make sure that our bespoke design for Android handsets is worth waiting for,” said Holly Knill, Head of Sky Go, when it first announced an Android app was coming.
Knill added that the Sky Go app was arriving for a “selection of the popular handsets including HTC Desire S and Samsung Galaxy S2, covering the majority of Android users”.
However, if you’re thinking of upgrading to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), you won’t yet be able to access Sky Go, as previously indicated here:
“As some of you have suggested in the past there are over 300 Android smartphones in the market – all with varying versions of the operating system, different components, screen sizes and resolutions. This variation in device specification and the complexity of the Sky Go app means that it is not currently possible to build something generic that will work across all Android devices.
With this in mind and to deliver the app to as many Sky customers as possible, we have taken the decision to build for the most current versions of Android handsets – v2.2 and v2.3. These are the operating systems that our seven listed handsets use and our research has shown that these handsets cover at least 60% of the Android handsets out there enabling us to deliver Sky Go to a good proportion of our customer base.”
It goes on to say:
“Sky Go Android will not support ice cream sandwich when it is launched, however there are plans to develop the App to support it.”
So the first incarnation of Sky Go for Android will be accessible by a large chunk of users, but it seems we may see a number of updates in the coming months before it’s opened up to the Android masses.