This morning Sky News launched their first app for the iPad. It has taken over a year to develop from concept to reality and its creators claim it is a revolutionary way to handle video news. I went to Sky's Millbank HQ on Tuesday to get an early peek and chat about the app with Political Editor Adam Boulton. Here's the interview:
Now, on to the app itself. Here's a rundown of what you can expect from it.
1) Live rewind
You are obviously able to watch the Sky News channel live on the app. But you can also scroll back to watch any of the last 30 mins of footage. Let's say you missed the opening swipes of PMQs; you can now go back to when the Speaker was starting proceedings at midday and watch from there!
2) Simultaneous information consumption
You don't have to move away from a video to view other information on that news story. Each video will continue playing in the corner of your screen unless you want to stop it. This makes for a far less disjointed user experience.
3) Updated constantly
Unlike iPad apps for newspapers, many of which are updated only once a day, Sky News has a dedicated team of 15-20 techies who will update content 24/7. So it should remain fresh and engaging.
1) Social networking
There is no integration to Twitter, Facebook, and you can't email friends links to an article you like. Part of this is because the app won't be universally available: in a few months, a regular charge will be introduced for non-Sky subscribers. However, this is only version one of the app. A Twitter feed from Sky journalists may be included in the future.
2) iPad only
It is only available on the iPad at the moment. Executive producer for SkyNews.com John Jelley told me this is because the iPad is completely dominant in the tablet market at the moment. If and when audiences move to android devices, Sky say they will follow fast.
3) User generated content
If you want to submit your own photos and videos of breaking news, you'll be disappointed. Unlike Sky News's nifty iPhone app, users can't send in comments to the newsroom. But when the iPad 2 launches in UK next week with cameras, you may find Sky more willing to include such features.
The app is - and will remain - free for Sky subscribers. For everyone else, it is free at the moment but a charge will be introduced in a few months time. An exact date for this and pricing details have yet to be announced.