Sky has issued a mass apology to Android users waiting patiently for some Sky Go love.
The streaming service that lets Sky TV customers watch programmes on the go has been available on selected Android phones for a while now, but wider support for other devices has not been forthcoming.
Alun Webber, managing Director for product design and development at Sky says that support for tablets is on the way and has revealed the reasons for delays.
Read Recombu Digital’s guide to Sky GoIn a post on a Sky User forum, Webber revealed frustrations with developing Sky Go for Android saying that after the launch of 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, developers had a choice of working on enabling programme downloads or tablet support. Webber said:
“Taking into account customer feedback we had previously received regarding delays between iOS and Android releases of Sky Go, we took the decision to prioritise “downloads” over support for Android tablets and as a result were able to launch this functionality at the same time on both iOS and Android.”
As Sky started work on the Sky Go app before the launch of Ice Cream Sandwich and 4.2 Jelly Bean
The nature of Android’s application code has caused some head scratching at Sky, making it hard to develop Sky Go for different screen sizes after Ice Cream Sandwich and 4.2 Jelly Bean. Sky believes it has worked out an interim solution that should bypass this and will be testing out streaming video within the next 4-5 weeks.
Another priority right now is to get Sky Go working on Android tablets in a satisfactory manner. Feedback about video quality on the Nexus 7 wasn’t great so there’s room for improvement there. It’s currently Sky’s view that on 10-inch tablets video would only be worse.
Adding a higher bitrate stream would also not work as older Android phones running 2.2 Froyo and 2.3 Gingerbread would not support this change in frame resolution. So a fine balancing act needs tobe struck if Sky is to keep everyone happy.
Within the next two weeks, Sky will publish a revised list of the Android phones and tablets it expects to support. Anticipating Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, Sky says its well prepared for the future release ensuring that customers won’t suffer from the same delays in the future.
So far it’s been the same story for TV fans; the iOS app comes out first, is amazing, the Android app comes out later (sometimes much later) with reduced functions and has to play catch-up for a while.