When it comes to mobile F1, only iPad users matter to Sky Sports

When it comes to mobile F1, only iPad users matter to Sky SportsHardcore F1 fans and mobile fanatics aren't two groups you'd naturally seat next together at a party, but that doesn't mean there aren't exceptions to the rule, your humble scribe included.

And while the deal to split coverage between the BBC and Sky has already caused a fair bit of bad blood, at least you can get your fix – if you're willing to pay. But an official Sky Sports F1 app for Android? Or in fact for any smartphone at all? Sorry, you're out of luck.

To spell it out, the latest step in F1's digital evolution is iPad-only, meaning the vast majority of mobile users are being left out in the cold.

“At the moment we do not have plans for an Android version of this service,” Sky Sports' David Gibbs told T3, before revealing the only scenario that would make such an approach make any sense at all: it's tablet-only.

“This is focussing on the tablet market at the moment, and we see the majority of usage coming via iPads so we need to make sure we are delivering the best experience possible for as many of our customers as we can. As such we have chosen to launch on the iPad.
“If Android tablets reach significant scale for us then we would look to it but at the moment this will be an iPad only service.”

What a load of rubbish. The reason the majority of usage will be coming from iPads is that you've decided to ignore smartphones altogether. And as for “delivering the best experience possible for as many of our customers as we can”, well... how about we refer you to the previous sentence again, David? We're not going to waste our time typing it again.

For what it's worth, the F1 season kicks off next Sunday in Melbourne.

Read more about: AndroidApple iPadApple iPad 2Apple iPad 3

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11 comments

Pondlife  Mar. 10, 2012 at 16:20

No real shock given the time it took to do Sky Go and limited devices it's on.
What's actually on the app anyway?

MDrX  Mar. 10, 2012 at 17:36

meaning the vast majority of mobile users are being left out in the cold

Those Wildfire and Desire owners are going to be pretty miffed.

As an alternative, play with the various methods of force closing an Android app. Equally exciting :p

Anyway, if there is one company in the UK who will go miles out of their way to make a penny it is BSkyB. They would have done the sums.

MySkyF1  Mar. 10, 2012 at 17:45

And the app is called? Or link to it?

martinjjames / MOD  Mar. 10, 2012 at 18:13

meaning the vast majority of mobile users are being left out in the cold

Those Wildfire and Desire owners are going to be pretty miffed.

As an alternative, play with the various methods of force closing an Android app. Equally exciting :p

Anyway, if there is one company in the UK who will go miles out of their way to make a penny it is BSkyB. They would have done the sums.



And if there's one individual who already has a proven track record for doing so, it's Bernie Ecclestone. Match made in heaven, really

martinjjames / MOD  Mar. 10, 2012 at 18:27

No real shock given the time it took to do Sky Go and limited devices it's on.
What's actually on the app anyway?


Apologies, in my irritation I didn't clarify that it hasn't launched just yet (hence the lack of a link too). The centrepoint will be live coverage of all the race content it'll be showing on the digital TV channel (effectively shoring up the obvious workaround for those who want Sky's F1 coverage but don't want to pay for the channel).

Beyond that we've been promised "interactive" features, which must be locked in quite heavily to iOS and the iPad interface/form factor, and aside from all the PR waffle I'd say that's the actual reason why it's iPad-only for now - it'll be a lot of effort to rework everything for other platforms or to suit other screen sizes.

Which is fair enough for iPad users, but is a pretty hard to take when you were hoping to watch Sky's F1 coverage on a mobile device (such as if you use another digital TV service and don't want to switch), but have been locked out when your only "crime" is not buying an iPad.

Yeah, there are bigger issues in life, but it's still frustrating!

JamesF1  Mar. 10, 2012 at 23:34

....a few people wishing that they had splashed out on an iPad now rather than buying 2nd best?? Let's all be honest with ourselves.... If I'm not mistaken, all android users with a sky subscription and that have the Sky Go android app installed will still be able to view SS-F1 there. You just won't be able to have the dedicated app (for now!). It does take time to roll these things out and it IS better to produce one good one for the market majority, rather than rushing to roll out a few bad ones in time for the first race coverage next weekend. Good things come to those that wait (or buy an iPad ; )

Pondlife  Mar. 11, 2012 at 02:07

I'm sure the app will look lovely on the ipad, (wonder if it's hd) but think it'd have been more use on the phone in some ways. Seems a more take everywhere option and if I'm at home it's going to be on the tv.

GaryR  Mar. 11, 2012 at 09:36

Oh dear...this article is a bit of a shambles, isn't it? Two key points:

"If you use another digital TV service and don't want to switch" - aside from Sky, the only other platform SSF1 is available on is Virgin, and they have yet to provide a live TV app. This is for Virgin to do - not Sky. Meanwhile, as JamesF1 said, anyone can sign up to Sky Go (without the requirement for a dish) and watch the SSF1 coverage on iPhone and Android (as well as PC & Mac).

"The centrepoint will be live coverage of all the race content it'll be showing on the digital TV channel (effectively shoring up the obvious workaround for those who want Sky's F1 coverage but don't want to pay for the channel)" - this is a belter of a facepalm. The iPad app doesn't give you the coverage for free - you need a Sky Go account, just like everyone else.

Sigh...perhaps less irritation, more fact checking next time?

gilesgf1  Mar. 16, 2012 at 12:32

....a few people wishing that they had splashed out on an iPad now rather than buying 2nd best?? Let's all be honest with ourselves.... If I'm not mistaken, all android users with a sky subscription and that have the Sky Go android app installed will still be able to view SS-F1 there. You just won't be able to have the dedicated app (for now!). It does take time to roll these things out and it IS better to produce one good one for the market majority, rather than rushing to roll out a few bad ones in time for the first race coverage next weekend. Good things come to those that wait (or buy an iPad ; )

Good luck getting the Sky Go app to install on an Android Tablet.... Phones yes, Tablets no

Pondlife  Mar. 16, 2012 at 14:45

Good luck getting it on most android phones for that matter. Sky on a go slow on this.

Pondlife  Mar. 16, 2012 at 14:47

Be asleep for this gp anyway.

App still doesn't seem to be on itunes.

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