How to remote control your Sky box with your phone or tablet: If you've lost your Sky remote or want to control your Sky box when you're out and about, check out Sky's range of mobile apps. Here we test each of Sky's Android and iOS apps and tell you which is best for remote controlling your Sky box.
When it comes to Sky, and interacting with the broadcast TV service via your phone or tablet, there are a lot of options out there. Seriously.
So to try and clear up exactly what you need to do to control your Sky entertainment hub with your mobile device, we’ve tested out the lot to make sure you get the best and easiest option.
Sky currently offers a My Sky, Sky+, Sky Go, Sky Q and Sky Wi-Fi app, all available for Android as well as iPhone and iPad. The last app is all about sorting your internet connection, but the others are all working apps to interact with your tele box feed. This plethora of apps might seem like a bit of a mess, but with various box and subscription options available to Sky customers, the broadcast company has opted to create bespoke apps to suit everyone’s varying needs.
Here’s what you can do with these apps to help better control your Sky experience from your phone or tablet, either over Wi-Fi or when out and about on your data connection.
Sky+ will let you set recordings from anywhere
For most Sky subscribers - in other words, for those with a set-top box - the Sky+ app is available to make browsing, finding and recording or remembering shows and movies easy. The Sky+ app offers a full TV guide that allows you to scroll through what’s on across the channels, as if you were doing so with your box at home.
You have sections for your TV Guide, your Planner, Catch Up TV, Sky Box Sets, New & Recommended, Kids and so on, laid out as you will recognise from your box. You can tap into what you want, like a movie, and you’ll be given full details with a blurb, running length and more, plus options to either Remind or Record.
Once you’ve got something set to Remind or Record, that will take effect on your box at home even if you're out and about. This means when you turn on your set-top box next, the movie will be ready to go as if you’d set it to record from the comfort of your sofa using the remote control.
Use the Sky+ app to control your Sky box at home
Once you’re at home the Sky+ app keeps on giving. Not only can you use it to browse and search more quickly using the phone’s keyboard in the app, but it can also work for your box too. Browse shows and movies using the app and even set recordings, all while the TV continues to show whatever you have on, uninterrupted.
The app also works as a remote control, allowing you to control the box even when that remote has gone walkies. Play, pause, fast forward, rewind, change channel and power the box on and off, all from your phone or tablet.
Sky+ lets you share phone and tablet photos on your TV
You can even use the Sky+ app as a smart media sharing device. Fling photos from your phone or tablet up onto the TV using the app. The idea is to allow you to share photos with a room full of people, without having to huddle round your phone.
Simply open the app, find the photos you want to share, and have them sent to the box. As long as you’re on the same Wi-Fi network, it’s that simple.
Use the Sky Q app to download recordings to your phone
The Sky Q app does everything that the Sky+ app does and more besides. Of course, to use the Sky Q app, you'll need to be a Sky Q subscriber.
One really nice addition is the ability to download shows and movies to your phone, which will be stored locally so you can view them when out and about.
While at home you’ll need to be on the same Wi-Fi network as the box in order to download the show or movie in question. However, when out and about you can view your downloaded content without a connection, even when underground or on a plane.
How to pause your Sky TV show and continue watching on your tablet or phone
One of the big sells for Sky Q is what it calls Fluid Viewing. This is the idea that you can pause a show you’re watching in one room - presuming it’s recorded - then continue watching it from where you left off using your mobile device.
This also means that if you have recordings on your box but someone is hogging the TV, you can access them from your phone or tablet to watch anywhere in the house. This gives a menu option just like Sky Q’s main box so your tablet or phone is effectively a mini screen attached to the same box, wirelessly.
Sky Go Extra lets you watch shows on the go without a Sky Q subscription
For those with a Sky subscription that isn’t Sky Q, there is the Sky Go Extra app which allows for many of the on-the-go viewing options available to Sky Q customers.
The Sky Go Extra app will be available on up to four devices using the login associated with your subscription. You can then watch TV and movies over a data connection, anywhere. Or, to save on data, you can download certain content to your phone or tablet over Wi-Fi at home so it’s saved offline for later viewing.
Streaming is limited to two devices at the same time, but this service comes largely at no extra cost. If your subscription does not currently offer this, you can pay an extra £5 per month to have it activated.
Manage your Sky account using My Sky
The final app worth mentioning lets you control more than just your Sky TV, but rather offers access to your entire account.
My Sky is a simple way to check out the status of your subscription, be it broadband, TV, phone, or all of that. Check and pay bills, adjust payment details and more. You can even check your broadband speed offering or get help fixing problems you might have.
A handy app to have to avoid making calls or going online to manage everything.
How much do these Sky apps cost?
Good news, people who are out of pocket because they've spent all their money on their Sky TV subscription. The above Sky apps are free to download and use.
How do I download the Sky apps above?
Can I use these Sky apps on my iPhone or iPad?
Yes. The iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad editions have a slightly different layout, with the iPad app more accessible for browsing.
Can I use the Sky+ app on my Android phone or tablet?
Yes. The phone and tablet versions of the app have a slightly different layout, with the tablet app more accessible for browsing.
What are the alternatives?
The are numerous apps that use the message protocol which underlies the Sky+ app, but few of them are as good as Sky's own app.