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Sky Go for Android Launches Today, Not for Android 4.0 or Rooted Devices

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After a long and somewhat painful wait, Sky has finally launched the Sky Go app for Android devices. It’s not all good news though, and we’ve got some information on the app’s availability that may leave a sour taste in the mouths of some users.

The app is a free download from the Android Market for those who subscribe to Sky’s television service. However, Sky has limited the app to work only with a select few smartphones to begin with, and only ones running Android 2.2 or 2.3 (that’s FroYo and Gingerbread). Those with the following handsets can get Sky Go right now: HTC Sensation, Samsung Galaxy S, Samsung Galaxy S II, HTC Desire, HTC Desire HD, HTC Incredible S, and HTC Desire S.

While limiting availability to a selection of devices and software versions may seem unfair, Sky says that the compatible devices represent 60% of devices using the Android Market at present.

Sky Go will not be compatible with devices running the latest version of Android – 4.0 aka Ice Cream Sandwich – for the foreseeable future. This is sure to be a bummer for those rocking the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Motorola Xoom or ASUS Transformer Prime, but it’s understandable as ICS only accounts for around 1% of all Android devices in the world today. Sky says it’s working to include support for more versions of Android:

We are working hard to ensure we can support further Android devices, as well as the latest Ice Cream Sandwich operating system (V4.0) but there are a number of technical considerations,” a spokesperson for the company advised.

As Android is an open source platform all Sky Go releases are required to undergo rigorous testing and development when a variation of any operating system or new handset is launched.  As a result, operating system updates (either from your Network Operator or from the device manufacturer) may require a significant amount of work before Sky Go can support them.”

Rooted? No-Go for Sky Go

Sky has also put a pin to the balloon of users who have rooted their Android devices. Sky Go will not be available for anyone with a rooted Android phone or tablet, and this is down to copyright and the company wanting to protect its media. Sky doesn’t want the content that it broadcasts to smartphones and tablets to be ripped and illegally distributed on non-official markets for Android.

Sky’s TV content will be heavily encrypted with DRM copyright methods, so nobody will be pirating it from their smartphone anytime soon.

Confirmation from the company reads:

In order to ensure that our rights’ contracts are fully upheld we are also unable to support any Android devices that have been rooted.

So it’s good news for those with a phone from the supported list, provided they haven’t been naughty and tinkered with their software. Have you tried out Sky Go on your Android device yet? Let us know what you think via our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.