Sky customers will be familiar with Sky Go, Sky’s on demand service, and the provider’s announced that their on-demand content will now be available for Android gadget owners for the first time, with support for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich coming at the end of July.
Android users will be able to use the Sky Go service just as they would from their home PC, laptop, tablet, iOS device or Xbox to catch up on shows they’ve missed, or stream Sky movies on demand. The free service gives users access to a range of Sky channels on the go, including Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Living and Sky Arts 1, allowing viewers to stream hit shows like Veep, Mad Men, and Friday Night Lights.
Movies on demand come courtesy of eleven Sky Movies channels, with current titles including the Hollywood hits Bridesmaids and Mad Men II, while sports fans can catch up on the latest sporting action, including Olympics coverage, from Sky Sports and now Eurosport too. In addition, the new app will enable customers to check their latest bill and account information via the Sky Go service.
At the moment, Sky Go is supported by the following HTC and Samsung Android smartphones: HTC Desire, HTC Desire S, HTC Desire HD, HTC Incredible S, HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation XE, Samsung Galaxy S, Samsung Galaxy S2, Samsung Galaxy Note and Galaxy Nexus.
Why doesn’t Sky make their app compatible with each and every Android-capable smartphone? Because each smartphone is different, it means tailoring the new app to fit each phone. Content needs to be adjusted for optimum viewing quality on a range of different screen resolutions and media players. Also, most new smartphones come with an HDMI port, allowing you to plug straight into your TV. Sky needs to disable this feature within the Sky Go app to keep their content providers happy, and this alone takes time to build and test for each Android model. So they’ve chosen to build their new app for the most popular Android devices on the market, with a view to extending support to other devices depending on demand.
Not all Android platforms are supported at the moment, but Sky has promised Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich users Sky Go compatibility from the end of July.
The latest Google stats show that Ice Cream Sandwich is now on 10.9% of Android devices, while Android 2.3x Gingerbread remains installed in 65% of devices. This discrepancy has led to a bit of a dilemma for developers across the board, trying to figure out if it’s worth their while developing software that makes full use of Android 4.0’s flashy new features, but targets just over 1 in 10 Android users. Admittedly, that’s still a lot of users, so Sky has obviously seen it’s worth their while, and Android 4.0 users will now be able to access Sky Go content from the end of this month.
This article was produced in association with Sky.