The new Sky+ app – our most accessible yet

22nd Oct 2014

Photograph of David Meredith

Today we launched a new version of the Sky+ app, and I’m absolutely delighted that it’s the most accessible app we’ve built to date – making it even easier for our blind and partially sighted customers to search, browse and record their favourite shows on their mobile or tablet device.

Compatible with the voice-over technology built into iOS and Android devices, when turned on, customers can now navigate the app through the use of gestures and touch with the device  ‘speaking’ to the user, describing each image or item of text on the screen.

Customers can enable voice over by going to their settings. It’s an amazing piece of technology and I’d highly recommend anyone to have a go using it to see for themselves what it can do (or if they’re simply just curious!).

This new release makes it easier for customers to browse the TV guide, record current and future episodes using the Smart Series Link, and find the shows they’ve missed at no extra cost with Catch Up TV. With Box Sets, customers will also be able to dive into complete series of the latest and greatest shows, or in the Sky Store, choose from a wide selection of movies to rent and download. The new photo sharing feature will also make it easy to enlarge and share your favourite snaps.

When we set out to create the new version of the app, we wanted accessibility to be a key part of its development and it was an important part of our brief. As we developed the app, we worked closely with our customers, our own dedicated accessibility team and the RNIB (Royal National Institute for Blind People) to ensure we built an app that would deliver the best experience yet for our blind and partially sighted customers.

By using the ‘Now and Next’ view within the TV Guide, customers using voice-over technology will be able to browse and select current and future shows, read their descriptions and record any they choose using the ‘Smart Series Link’, provided their phone or tablet is connected to their Sky+ box, and to their WiFi network.

With Catch Up TV, TV Box Sets, Sky Movies on Demand and Sky Store, customers using the technology will also be able to browse hundreds of shows and movies and download them to their set top box. With the new and improved Search function, this makes it even easier for customers to find exactly what they want to watch, when they want to watch it.

The accessibility of the new Sky+ app marks an exciting achievement for Sky and I think it’s a great example of how we’re using technology to deliver an even better experience for all our customers.

For help using the Sky+ app with voice-over technology please visit our dedicated accessibility website at sky.com/accessibility.