You can now get a free Sky News iPhone app from the Apple iTunes App Store, so it would appear that Sky are really starting to embrace the iPhone and its userbase now after it recently launched the Sky+ iPhone app that allows subscribers to set their Sky+ or Sky HD boxes to record shows no matter where they might be (a very handy little tool, I suggest you check it out if you haven’t already got it on your iPhone).
So what does the Sky News iPhone app allow you to do? Well perhaps predictably it brings you the top news stories from the Sky News TV channel (and website) to your iPhone in an easy to navigate application that’s presented very well in my opinion.
Is it really that well designed that it provides something you couldn’t just access on the website from within Safari? Well it presents the latest news stories in a tabbed format that categorises the different types of news, so you can go straight to what interests you. For example, if you’re a sports fan, then head straight to the Sports page.
However, for me personally what really stands out from checking websites or other news aggregation apps that you can download is the fact that the Sky News app interface is so clean looking and uncluttered, there’s not an advert in sight anywhere and so when reading a news story, the whole screen is used to present it to you in a fairly large easy to read font, usually with a picture or video present as well.
You can view videos from any news story that has one, or press the “Video” button which filters out all non-video news and presents them all together including the latest weather reports. When you press the play button on a video to view it, the whole screen is then used in landscape format to present the video.
The “Alerts” Button allows you to sign-up to SMS text message alerts for different types of news, no doubt this is the money-making part of the Sky News app right now, I’m not sure who would be interested in receiving text alerts every day about news, I certainly don’t, so will leave that section alone!
Perhaps the most interesting ‘innovation’ in this Sky News iPhone app is the final section, the “Your Report” button which allows you to literally send a news report to Sky News. This could then possibly be featured on their TV channel and website as breaking news, were you to be present at the right place at the right time…or perhaps not as the case may be! I don’t tend to watch a lot of the Sky News TV channel, but the times I have I do remember them occasionally asking for feedback and viewer contributions, so this part of the iPhone app possibly helps them to promote the whole “citizen journalism” angle of their news coverage.
As someone who is quite disillusioned with TV news in general and normally relies on websites and the likes of Twitter to keep up to date with events in the world, I’ve found this quite a useful little app. It helps me keep up-to-date with the news in an efficient manner without having to put up with TV news-style sensationalism that seems ever present these days, there aren’t any adverts trying to distract you from the actual news stories and there’s even a built-in news-reporting tool (if that interests you) — however any topic that we cover here on Zath, I’d suggest sending to us instead! 😉
Overall, I think the Sky News iPhone app is definitely worth downloading and having on your iPhone, I look forward to seeing what else Sky can come up with in terms of apps, surely a Sky Sports News app or Sky Sports Score Centre (live football scores) iPhone app can’t be far away?
Via – Sky News
Simon Barker is the founder and editor of Zath and has over 25 years worth of experience of using computers and technology in general. He can normally be found researching or testing the latest in technology products.
He has provided IT consultancy services to both home and small business users for over 15 years, building PCs, fixing hardware/software problems and providing comprehensive training.
Simon always likes to get the best out of the technology he is using, by both making informed decisions of what products to purchase and also optimising how it is then used to get the most benefits possible.
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