Sky Sports News iPad App (2012) ReviewWritten by John Thompson on January 3, 2012 · Filed under Review, Software
With the current football season well under way and an exciting FA Cup weekend fast approaching, BSkyB has launched a brand new Sky Sports app for the iPad, which takes a lot of cues from the existing Sky News app that was released on the iPad in the Spring of last year.
Curiously, the old Sky Sports News app which is compatible with both the iPhone and iPad has remained on the App Store, with this new version simply being called “Sky Sports News for iPad” in the App Store. Not to bother, we’ve gotten around that particular confusion and installed the app so that you can see all the good and bad things that it has to offer!
Whereas the original Sky Sports News for iPad release resembled a conventional news app, the new version takes in a few lessons from the Sky News app to make the news that you’re reading a little bit more dynamic and wide-ranging. On the home screen, you will see a number of tiles each linking to a different story. The top story will be on the top left of the screen, with news snippets beside it on the right. Underneath is a large grid of less important, or older, news stories that are also available for you to read or watch.
When you select a news post to read it will appear in the middle of the display, with other related stories cascading out from it in the background. If you’re viewing a football match report, for example, the content around it could be items such as a video interview, or an image showing the match stats, or the league table as it stands after this result. Unfortunately, the videos around the main item aren’t labelled, so you may not always know what you’re selecting or how long it may be.
If you’d rather concentrate your news on a single sport, then you can select the “Sports Centre” button at the top of the screen, which allows you to narrow down the content that is visible depending on the sport that it’s covering. This ranges from Football to Golf and Boxing, so you’re unlikely to find a sport that isn’t listed here.
Finally, for those times where reading the news just doesn’t quite cut it, you can watch Sky Sports News live right from the app, as you could in both the previous version and in Sky Go. If you’re already a Sky customer with a sports package, then you can watch the channel for free as you can in Sky Go; all you need to do is login with your Sky iD and password and you’re good to go. For non-subscribers, you can also watch the channel through the app, but you’ll have to pay a subscription fee of £5 per month for the privilege.
Personally, I love the look of the new Sky Sports News app, and the developers have done a brilliant job bringing it in line with the features found in the Sky News app. That being said, having two apps on the App Store at the same time is just confusing, so hopefully BSkyB will sort this out fairly quickly. If you want to try out the new app for yourself, it’s a free download from iTunes.