Sky has unveiled an iPad app that turns it into a giant remote, letting users change channels, record programmes and even rewind shows.
The system is also set to be upgraded with ‘social TV’ features to let users share what they are watching with friends.
“Today we’re taking a major step forward in giving Sky customers even more control over their TV viewing experience with the launch of an update to our pioneering Sky+ app which lets Sky customers transform their iPad into a remote control,” said Sky’s Luke Bradley-Jones.
“With a simple swipe or tap of their fingers on their iPad screen, Sky customers are from today able to use the app to change channels as well as pause, play and rewind TV.”
The free app can used by anyone who has a Sky box connected to their home network and an iPad.
Alongside this, the update will also allow Sky customers to see what’s stored on their Sky+ planner and make changes without interrupting their TV viewing.
“A new design meanwhile makes it even easier for Sky customers to use the app to set recordings of their favourite shows over the following seven days, scrolling through the whole week in the TV Guide and selecting which shows they want to record, which they can do either by episode or entire series,” Sky said.
The move echoes Apple, which produce an iPad and iPhone remote control for its Apple TV product.
Several other firms such as Samsung and LG have also developed apps for mobile phones that allow users to control their TV from a phone and iPad, while Microsoft recently announced Smart Glass for its Xbox games console, which will allow phone and tablet owners to see extra information about shows they are watching and control video and music.
However, the Sky service goes much further than currently available services, integrating programme guides.
Sky also revealed it plans to add Zeebox functionality to the service.
Set up by ex iPlayer boss Anthony Rose, Zeebox is an app which lets people see tweets and other information on the programme they are watching on their iPad screen.
Users can ‘check in’ to programmes, which can also be displayed on Twitter and Facebook.
Sky also plans to create special app content for Zeebox for some of its shows.
To access the full range of functionality through the revamped app, Sky TV customers need to have the new look Sky TV Guide on their Sky+HD box, and to make sure their Sky+HD box is connected to the same broadband network as their iPad.
Culled from Dailymail.co.uk