Second screen viewing – i.e. Tweeting and Facebooking during TV shows – isn’t something we’re strangers to. Being able to share your thoughts on #towie, #HIGNFY or #sherlock as you’re watching it is one of the greatest 21st century comforts currently going.
But the Sky+ app for iOS ought to make having an iPhone or iPad to hand mandatory for telly watching in the future. For Sky TV subscribers anyway…
According to a post over on Sky’s corporate blog, a key update incoming this year will be the ability to use your iPhone or iPad as a remote control for your Sky+ box. All of the key features of the traditional Sky+ remote – pause, rewind, search the EPG – will be transposed to your iPhone or Pad’s screen.
From here you’ll also be able to check out additional content and check live Twitter feeds related to programmes.
Pass us zee remote
The social media aspect of the new Sky+ apps will be powered by zeebox, which aggregates social media feeds and information about programmes, fusing Twitter convos with cast lists and other related info, served up via clickable ‘zeetags’. Where applicable, zeebox also serves up links to buy products related to the programme you’re watching/searching for. So if you’re tweeting about #towie, a link to buy a vajazzling kit might pop up.
It all sounds a bit like the Xbox Companion app, which allows you to comb movie cast lists and when watching movies through your Xbox 360, only a bit more socially-oriented.
There are already zeebox apps available to download on the app store and on your PC. Check out the app links below to try out zeebox for yourself if you’re keen to see how the Sky+ apps will take shape.
You’ll also be able to more easily manage your Sky+ planner on the move, allowing you to set recordings on your set top box when you’re not directly in front of it. So as well as turning your iPhone into a remote control, the Sky+ app will turn it into a remote remote control.
Sky has recently bought a 10 per cent stake in zeebox, whose helmsmen include former EMI board director Ernesto Schmitt and Anthony Rose who worked on the BBC iPlayer. Schmitt, CEO of zeebox said: “Sky has a strong track record of innovation, and we are delighted to partner with them to deliver zeebox’s social TV vision to millions of Sky homes. Thanks to Sky’s backing we now also have the resources and expertise to set our sights firmly on international expansion alongside further innovation here in the UK and Ireland.”
No launch date for the new Sky+ app/app updates has been mentioned, other than an ETA of ‘first half of 2012.’ More on this as and when we hear it.