Sky has launched the Sky Go app for Android today. The service brings Sky Sports, Movies and Entertainment content to a range of compatible Android handsets for anyone who currently subscribes to Sky. It’s a real boon for the mobile platform, but there are some interesting caveats…
Sky Go for Android has launched on seven handsets. These are as follows: HTC Desire, HTC Desire S, HTC Desire HD, HTC Incredible S, HTC Sensation, Samsung Galaxy S and Samsung Galaxy S2. You’ll notice that there’s currently no love there for any Sony Ericsson, Motorola or LG phones.
Sky’s reasoning is that its featured handsets cover off 60 per cent of the Android market, letting it “deliver Sky Go to a good proportion of our customer base.” A Sky spokesperson added: “We appreciate that the lack of availability on tablets and earlier versions of the Android operating system could be frustrating for some customers, but we are continually working on the Android version of Sky Go and to deliver updated versions.”
Android operating systems
With this in mind, Sky Go for Android will only work on Android 2.2 and 2.3 handsets. While Sky insists that this currently represents some 85 per cent of the market, it does throw open a sticky situation with regards to Android 4.0 upgrades.
“We are working hard to ensure we can support further Android devices, as well as the latest Ice Cream Sandwich operating system (V4.0) but there are a number of technical considerations,” says the company.
“As Android is an open source platform all Sky Go releases are required to undergo rigorous testing and development when a variation of any operating system or new handset is launched. As a result, operating system updates (either from your Network Operator or from the device manufacturer) may require a significant amount of work before Sky Go can support them.”
What does that mean to you? “If existing Sky Go users with V2.2 or 2.3 choose to upgrade to V4.0 they will not be able to stream content through the Sky Go app until the operating system can be fully supported.” In other words: don’t upgrade if you want it to work.
Sky Go uses a complex system of DRM tech to make sure that its content doesn’t go walkies on the underground Android Market. As such, rooted Android phones won’t be able to access Sky Go for Android. The company says: “Content protection across all Sky Go devices is one of our top priorities and the DRM used to secure our content rights is of the highest industry standard.
“In order to ensure that our rights’ contracts are fully upheld we are also unable to support any Android devices that have been rooted.”
Lastly, if you want to watch Sky content on the bus you’ll need a MiFi in your pocket. Sky Go for Android is WiFi only, we’re afraid. There’s no 3G love on the cards, either. Still, that’s probably a good thing for your monthly data limit – and therefore your wallet.
So there you have it. Disappointed that your Android handset isn’t supported? Let us know below.