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“Sky Go” For Android – Too Little Too Late?

 If you live in the UK and have a digital television subscription, there’s a pretty good chance that it’s with Sky. There’s also a pretty good chance that you own an Android device of some kind, considering that you’re here on XDA developers. It stands to reason then, that you must be pretty excited about the upcoming launch of the new “Sky Go” Android app. That’s the app that will allow you to utilise you’re subscription via your mobile device, for no extra charge, wherever you like, whenever you like.

Well, that is of course providing that you have one of the few (seven to be precise) Android devices that are going to be supported. All of which are HTC or Samsung phones, so don’t expect to be watching your favourite channels on your tablet any time soon. Oh and did I mention that the app isn’t going to be ICS compatible either? So you might want to restore that Gingerbread backup you’ve got tucked away on your SD card.

Still excited?

Now maybe I’m being a little melodramatic here, I’m sure there are going to be plenty of people with these supported devices, still running official ROMs, that will be perfectly happy with this new app. However, if the reaction to this news on Sky’s own help forums is anything to go by, I suspect that there will be a sizeable amount of their Android owning customer base who are left with a somewhat sour taste in their mouth, and I can’t say that I blame them.

iOS users have been able to access the service from their devices for around two years now. Admittedly, there have been differences in the content available and the terms of how that content can be viewed, but even so, should it really take this long to catch up? I suppose you have to give them some credit for finally bothering to cater for the needs of their customers who prefer to use Android over iOS though, or perhaps not given that those customers have been paying exactly the same amount of money for less of a service. In fact, it’s a wonder they have any Android using customers left to cater for after all this time.

I can understand that the platform with the greatest market share will be catered for as a priority, that makes perfect sense. What does not make sense however, is for a company such as Sky to pay so little regard to a platform that is rapidly encroaching on that previously dominant market share. With regard to the issue of tablets not being supported, according to Sky, the demand just isn’t there. Really? Given that Android’s share of the tablet market (39% worldwide) shows no signs of decreasing any time soon, I can’t help but think they are wrong about that.

I’m sure a tablet compatible version will come along sooner or later, probably around the same time that an ICS compatible version rears it’s head. Which you would expect to be fairly soon, considering that most of the devices this app will run on are going to receive official ICS updates.

So what’s the solution to this being problem being thrown around on the aforementioned help forums? Well it’s obvious isn’t it? Do not update your device. I have to admit, I’m yet to see this advice being given to anyone by an official Sky representative but it seems to be the number one suggestion between the customers. I’m sure you’ll agree with me though, that’s not a solution. It is nothing more than a poor workaround. One that leaves you with a choice between sacrificing a service that you, as a paying customer are entitled to, or being unable to take advantage of a major update to the operating system of your mobile device.

Not good enough in my opinion.

The list of devices that will be supported at launch is as follows;

  • HTC Desire
  • HTC Desire HD
  • HTC Desire S
  • HTC Incredible S
  • HTC Sensation
  • Samsung Galaxy S
  • Samsung Galaxy S II

On the bright side, it would appear that at least one Sky customer has an idea of how these issues might be resolved.

Let’s face it, they are probably right, and if it happens, you’ll be the first to know. Let’s just hope that other companies and indeed Sky themselves take note  of the dissatisfaction displayed by their paying customers over this. Although I wouldn’t hold your breath.

“Sky Go” will reportedly be available from the market as of the 22nd of February.

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