Sky Has Joined AppleVis, and We Would Welcome Your Feedback on the Accessibility of Our Various Apps

Accessibility Advocacy

Hello AppleVis Community,
Just to quick note to let you know that Sky, leading TV & broadband provider in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy, is now on AppleVis.
Sky has a range of apps and services across Apple's various platforms, and we are keen to hear from you and interact with you as we continue to work on developing those apps and services to ensure they are accessible for all of our customers.
We are aware that some apps require development in this area, and changes don't always come overnight, but we are committed as a company to being best in class.
We look forward to hearing from you and receiving ongoing feedback.



Submitted by Elena Brescacin on Friday, July 1, 2016

Hello, I am from italy and am a Sky customer since long time.
I have SkyGo on my iPhone and iPad, and unfortunately I find many problems on the iPad's app especially. So, I am really glad if now you are joining visually impaired community to get feedbacks on how to improve your services and apps.
I am a tester, reviewer and translator into an Italian speaking community, so I'll do whatever I can to keep all non-english speaking people updated of what you and AppleVis community will do together. Helping you of course with possible feedbacks and beta-testing services.

Submitted by SkyAccess on Friday, July 1, 2016

Hi Elena. Many thanks for the response and for reaching out. There is an increasing focus on creating consistency across the five Sky territories, so your feedback from Italy will be very welcome. Please feel free to post any specific feedback here, or on the individual app entries on the site.
I'm unsure of the situation regarding external beta testing at this point in time, but we will certainly reach out if that becomes an option.

Submitted by Mark P on Friday, July 1, 2016

Hi David, I am a UK Sky customer but last time I checked there were no audio described films on the Skygo app as there are on the BBC iPllayer. Is this still the case, and if so are there any plans to catch up with the BBC?

Submitted by John newton on Friday, July 1, 2016

Hi there I'm so glad that you are reaching out to our community, I have to say first of all the Sky Apps have got a lot better lately and for that I that you. The thing I'd really love to see though has nothing to do with any of the apps but more to do with the Sky box, why can't you have a sky box that has built in text to speech so that everything on the screen can be read out and we can use the functions of the box just like a sighted person can. I know this can be done as Goodmans already do it with their Freeview box and Panasonic have it built into some of their TV's and I know it can be done on a satellite/cable box because Comcast have one in the U.S.A So please help us use our Sky+ boxes just the way everyone else does and better still let us get Sky Q with this function on it. Kind Regards

Submitted by D25 on Friday, July 1, 2016

Firstly, I would just like to say how much I enjoy using your apps and the services they provide. I think it's great you've come to the applevis community so we can help with the accessibility of your apps.
This post is mainly about your football sky sports score centre app. I have had this app for quite a number of years now and used to really enjoy using it. It was very accessible and great for me as I could get all the latest news, scores and lineups on my phone.
However, as time's gone on, the accessibility of the app has dropped to the point where I hardly use it anymore. It's still on my phone as I can just about look at some news articles on it but other than that it'has become very difficult to navigate.
There are a number of issues that have contributed to this and it would be difficult for me to list them all now without starting to use the app a bit more as i haven't used it in a while as i said but I'll try to highlight some of the main ones.
The adverts do get in the way a lot when flicking through articles which make them very difficult to read with voiceover. They pop up all over the screen.
When reading an article, the buttons to go back to the list of articles are not clearly labled and I have to keep clicking on the menyou button, which is labled as "clock face 9 o'clock" (think it's a symbol) just to get back to the menyou. After that I have to click on news again and even then this sometimes doesn't work to get me back in.
The scors section is difficult to navigate with each tiny bit of information on a new section. Using the flicking jesture this makes it difficult to get around.
Sorry for the long post and as I said I did really enjoy this app and hope it can get back to the same level of accessibility as it was before so I can begin to use it daily again.
Please don't hesitate to post hear or ask for contact details for any further voiceover help to make the app more accessible as I know it's a little confusing.

Submitted by D25 on Friday, July 1, 2016

I should probably also say please excuse any typing mistakes as I have just read my post back, trying to get to grips with the basics of my new Bluetooth keyboard

Submitted by SkyAccess on Sunday, July 3, 2016

Hi Mark. At this time you are correct to say that audio description is not available on Sky Go. We have a strong commitment to audio description, but it is currently restricted to broadcast channels on the Sky TV box.
We develop apps like Sky Go because customers are watching TV in different ways today, and we acknowledge this is as true for you as anyone. We do have an aspiration to bring audio description to on demand content, including Sky Go, and it is on the roadmap, however it won't be in the short term. I can't give a timescale but I assure you it is on the agenda.
For SkyQ customers in the shorter term, I believe you will be able to pick up audio description on the Sky Q app if connected to the home network, however again this is for broadcast channels.
I will post again on this topic if and when I have more information or updates.

Submitted by SkyAccess on Sunday, July 3, 2016

Hi John. Thanks for the feedback. I might have to come back to you on this, but when I did ask about this in the past, I believe there were technical challenges, and the decision was made to prioritise getting the apps right first. I can't speak to those other products.

Submitted by SkyAccess on Sunday, July 3, 2016

Hi D25. Fair point about Score Centre, it has varied in its accessibility. I can't go into detail but there is currently a completely new version of the app in development ahead of the new season. I am and will stress the importance of VoiceOver accessibility with the product team. Please do feedback once the update is available to you. I will feedback the issues that you have encountered with the current version.

Submitted by Elena Brescacin on Monday, July 4, 2016

Here I am again.
For now, let's talk about apps. First of all, I'm longing On demand content to come also into the iPhone's Sky go version.
Then, the iPad app is very inaccessible, I usually watch the sky go channels on the iPhone, but I'd like to enjoy ondemand content, which I cannot enjoy for now because the iPad's app is very inaccessible there are plenty of unlabelled buttons and VoiceOver focus jumps around everywhere.
Second issue, Audio descriptions.
To be sinceer, I didn't even know audio descriptions were available in Sky's Platform, till I went to browse web site, and noticed this service is not available in Italy.
For this reason, I'd like to inform you about an Italian association which works on subtitles and audio descriptions, it's called Movie Reading.
You could talk to them and search for a collaboration to bring Sky's audio descriptions here - tell them you got the contact from NvApple
Now the only bad thing is that you need 2 devices.
One to run the show, and one to run the audio description, as Movie Reading works with augmented reality, synchronizing audio descriptions or subtitles, with the show's audio, by phone's microphone.
So you may use Sky go on the iPad and the iPhone gives you the audio description when needed.
But who knows, maybe in the future a solution may be found, to make audio descriptions and tv show work on the same device.
Then, the problem is that MySky machines, connected to the tv, are not accessible, as far as I know. But this is a further information, now I think we're talking about apps here.
I also find inaccessibilities on the app to manage Sky subscriptions and devices, in italy it's called "sky fai da te", something like Sky Self Service, don't know the english name of this.
Bye for now

Submitted by Bingo Little on Monday, July 4, 2016


As I've said elsewhere, I'm delighted you're interacting so directly with us! I used to really enjoy using Sky Sports for iPhone, but now I'm afraid to say the BBC sport app is much better. The reason is very simple: I used to be able to swipe to each of the news stories, whether that be on the 'top stories' screen, or whether that be the top stories for each sport. Now, the app reads the title of the first story to me, but if I swipe right nothing is read for subsequent stories. It's a real shame because as a central resource for sports news and results the app is great. I know that Sky knows about this accessibility bug but you would appear to have difficulty squashing it, because it's been present in several versions of the app now.

Submitted by D25 on Monday, July 4, 2016

Completely agree with the previous post about sky sports app. Being blind but also loving sports, it can sometimes be difficult to find sports apps which are completely accessible, sky sports used to be one of those that was but as stated in the previous post I can no longer read any of the sports stories

Submitted by Macky on Monday, July 4, 2016

What about the sky website itself? In general it's not too bad, but the last overhaul made a few parts of navigating frustrating. The headings work ok but flicking right through some areas results in getting stuck in a loop in certain parts. But my main gripe is when on the sky go website. Finding the channel list isn't obvious and then it can be a hit and a miss getting the programme started once it's located. And the main problem is once it's started, its impossible to interact with the player, meaning the playback controls, volume slider, the full screen button etc are inaccessible. Is there any way to fix any of these items? I suspect the first few yes, but interacting with the player controls might be more difficult?

Submitted by Macky on Monday, July 4, 2016

As I stated in the previous post that areas of the sky go website on the Mac aren't the easiest to navigate, is there any scope for a dedicated sky go app on the Mac itself? Or better yet, a sky go app on the apple tv? Its available on the xbox and the PS4 I'm told so why not the apple tv, or is it a rights issue somewhere along the line?

Submitted by SkyAccess on Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hi Elena. Thanks again. I'm not personally familiar with the Italian apps but I will certainly feed this back. Yes we have an equivilant app in the UK&Ireland called Sky Service, so I know the app you are referring to. If you can detail the issues with it that would be great. Thanks for the tip re Movie Reading, I am familiar with them and it is certainly one option that has been considered and trialed.

Submitted by SkyAccess on Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Just to clarify, this is the Sky Sports app as opposed to the Score Centre app that you are referring to? So both sports apps have relatively similar issues it seems. I will take a look and feed back.

Submitted by SkyAccess on Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hi Macky. Regarding Sky Go website on the Mac, this may be a longer term project than the apps but we certainly take it on board.
Has anybody had any more success on the Windows side, just so I know if it's just a Mac issue, though this seems unlikely.
I don't know if the company has plans to launch an Apple TV app or not, nothing has been announced on that. However the point is well made.

Submitted by Syd on Tuesday, July 5, 2016

First of all I am just so impressed that Sky are even on here and showing enough care for accessibility to do this! Thank you Sky, we really do appreciate it. I have been a Sky customer in the UK for a long time, the Sky plus app has varied in it's accessibility over the years but is currently pretty good. Just one gripe, still no way to activate audio description on the box from the app? I have seen this mentioned on other forums on here in the past, I think I speak for a lot of people who would like to easily be able to activate and deactivate audio description from the app. I imagine lots of people like me use the app rather than their Sky remote to access the TV guide and then go to the channel based on what's on. If this can be done, I'm sure audio description activation is possible? And I strongly agree with the wish for a Sky go app on the Apple TV. I have the latest Apple TV myself as this is one of the most accessible platforms of its kind for accessing content. I have used it for Now TV, and have had to use the Sky go website, which I can also confirm is very inaccessible with Windows, in terms of the player itself anyway. It's fine on the iphone and ipad but I'm sure you would agree if fully sighted people can access Sky go on an xbox, I will never have an xbox because I couldn't use it with no sight, therefore Apple TV would really be the most accessible way. Sorry for the long post. Those are just my thoughts. Keep up the good work though! Once the premier league season is back I can safely say I wouldn't be without my Sky!

Submitted by SkyAccess on Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Thanks Lorna. Ok so more control of the options and settings on the Sky box from the app, including the audio description toggle, would be of benefit. I don't know if there are technical impedements to that or not, but I will take the request back to the team as a feature request.
Thanks for the clarification about the Sky Go website. It is certainly important to look at this, though I believe the apps are ahead of it in the priority queue.

Submitted by Jake on Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Great to see this! A pity that I live in the US, so won't really be able to give any feedback myself. I'd give feedback to our companies if they were willing, but... well... they just aren't. Can I move to Europe yet? :)

Submitted by Syd on Tuesday, July 5, 2016

In reply to by SkyAccess

I have done a lot of accessibility testing of websites and apps and would be happy to get involved as an external tester if this would help. Anything to encourage such a big company reaching out to the likes of us!
I think most people would accept the website taking a back seat to apps if there was a means of streaming Sky go to the TV which there currently really isn't. The IOS apps are lovely and accessible but do not allow streaming to a TV. So the only really accessible platform we can use for this would be the Apple TV. Rant over I promise!

Submitted by alex wallis on Tuesday, July 5, 2016

I submitted some very detailed feedback on the sky app entry itself yesterday, and just now a post regarding an unlabeled button which means VoiceOver can't describe what it does. Is it better to submit feedback via this forum or leave comments on the app directory entry? wwondering if I should repost both my comments on the forum to make it easier for sky to keep track of everything as so far I don't think they have been replied to yet on the app entry and I want to make things as easy for sky as possible and promote community discussion.

Submitted by SkyAccess on Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hi Alex. Apologies it took me some time to get back to the other thread. It is probably best to post feedback that is specific to an app on it's own app entry, in the interest of clarity. However I will also continue to monitor this post. If I do appear to have missed an entry on another app, please feel free to point it out to me here.

Submitted by SkyAccess on Tuesday, July 5, 2016

So a few people have asked about beta testing, and kindly offered their time. At this time I believe we only have a framework in place for internal staff testers, probably because Sky has a large internal population to work with.
I acknowledge though that this is not necessarily the case with regards to accessibility, so I will look into whether this would be possible.
If so I will be sure to post on this site.

Submitted by Charlie on Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Hi. Most of the Sky Plus app is very accessible, however, when Remote is selected, the last option refers to describing gestures that can be used. When I tap this, nothing is read about gestures. Are specific gestures possible with the app and, if so, how can I find out about them? Will they work with Voiceover active?

Submitted by SkyAccess on Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Hi Charlie. Yes both the remote and the gesture guide are currently inaccessible I'm afraid. It is something we hope to get fixed.

Submitted by Peter Holdstock on Saturday, July 9, 2016

Hi. Firstly just to clarify for all that Sky are being great about responding to issues raised on the sky Plus app directory entry so worth checking it out.
Regarding Sky Go (I didn't find an directory entry for that?) when I launch the app I get a screen which has a done button and tick box. Unfortunately it doesn't let me read what the tick box is for. Of course if I tick the box the window doesn't come up again but it would be good to know what it says in case it's important. Also, I've found if I pause a programme I'm watching and then leave the app and then go back to it, I'm back on the home screen instead of the paused video. Most apps take you back to exactly where you where previously which I think would be better. Thanks again Sky.

Submitted by SkyAccess on Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Hi Peter. Apologies for that. The splash screen is a message to inform customers that the app will soon cease to support devices running iOS7.
Regarding an app entry here, please feel free to create one. Site rules do not allow us to do so ourselves.
Many thanks.

Submitted by SkyAccess on Sunday, July 24, 2016

Hi all. Just a note to advise you to avoid updating to version 5.1 of Sky Go, released on 21 July, if you haven't already done so. It appears that VoiceOver is not reading the details of episodes, for example when you open a box set, instead of reading the episode title and details, it is saying "dot series". Apologies for any inconvenience.

Submitted by Saqib on Monday, July 25, 2016

Hi. Audio description can also be toggled on and off by pressing the help button And arrowing down once to audio description and pressing right to turn it on I can do this without looking at the screen. There are only two items and the first one is subtitles I would gladly go back to sky if they implemented text to speech within their menus

Submitted by StevenM on Monday, September 12, 2016

Hi there. Firstly its great that you are engaging with the Apple Vis forum. I've got a few questions re sky Q which I hope you can answer.
We've just upgraded to Sky Q (mainly so I can watch the football while my wife watching some hidious reality show downstairs). and on TV, I'm really happy with it-- being able to have audio discription on for me upstairs but off for my sighted wife downstairs is brilliant.
My questions though are about the app. Firstly, is the app accessible with Voiceover and when will you be releasing an Iphone version? I don't have an Ipad as I don't need a larger screen but sky Q doesn't have a phone app which IMO is really poor.
my second question is, if I record a programme on the sky q app with audio discription turned on, will I be able to watch the programme with audio discription through the app? one of my frustrations is that I need sighted assistance to get to a rogramme I've recorded on my sky box but if the app was accessible and audio discription worked I could watch my recording with audio discription on the app.

Submitted by raaj on Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Out of curiosity, can i see your service in india? I wish.

Submitted by SkyAccess on Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hi Steven, thanks for your question and I'm glad to hear you have moved to Sky Q. Yes the Sky Q app is accessible with VoiceOver, much more so than the current version of Sky Go. Any feedback is welcome though of course. There is no app as yet for iPhone, though this is planned so watch out for it. Sorry I don't have a timescale.
Have you tried controlling your boxes with the Sky+ app? You should find this to be an accessible experience overall.
Regarding audio description on the app, I don't believe this works I'm afraid. AD in our apps is certainly something we hope to be able to implement in the future, but at this stage I can't go further than that.

Submitted by SkyAccess on Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hi Raaj. Thanks for your interest in Sky. Unfortunately we don't operate in India, sorry about that :)
We are currently in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria.

Submitted by StevenM on Tuesday, September 13, 2016

In reply to by SkyAccess

Hi, thanks for getting back to me so quickly.
no, I've never thought to try the sky plus app but I'll give it a go.
good news about the Sky Q app being accessible.
I probably didn't phrase my question about AD very well-- apologies. I know AD isn't available with on demand services within apps. What I was getting is that, I thought, you could watch programmes you've recorded on your sky q box through the app when you aren't at home. have I got that wrong? If I'm right, I was asking, if I record a programme on the box with AD, will it play the AD when I watch what I've recorded on the app?
Thanks again for your engagement with the forum.

Submitted by Peter Holdstock on Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hi. After the new Sky Go update recently sent out, unfortunately the series cell issue where by voice over said series cell instead of the programme information still persists. I'm disappointed that hasn't been fixed given it was some time ago it was raised on this forum. Is there any progress with the sky plus app and the issues we have raised about that please? As previously said, I do appreciate Sky reaching out to blind users but perhaps unreasonably, I had hoped to see some improvement before today. I too am also interested in knowing whether the recorded skyQ programmes which have been recorded with audio description, will also play with audio description on mobile devices as I also thought the app played the actual recordings from the box and didn't simply download the programme again to the device.

Submitted by SkyAccess on Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hi Steven and Peter. Apologies for the delay in getting back to you.
Apologies I had misunderstood your original question Steven. Yes you can watch content with AD using the Sky Q app; it's a little complex to explain but here goes:
- You can stream live content with AD from your Sky Q box to the Sky Q app, provided AD is switched on on the box at the moment of streaming.
- You can stream a recording with AD from your Sky Q box to the app, provided AD is switched on on the box at the moment of streaming.
- If you download a recording to your iPad app, this download will include AD provided that AD is switched on on the box at the moment that the recording was transcoded (prepared) for possible transfer. This usually happens immediately after the recording finishes, but can be delayed if there is a queue of recordings to be prepared. This is because currently the version that is saved for possible transfer to other devices only includes one audio track, whereas those stored on the box contain the two tracks.
- On Demand content will not include AD.
I hope this helps.
Peter, I have followed up on the SkyGo issue and will let you know as soon as I can where we are at on that.

Submitted by Peter Holdstock on Wednesday, September 21, 2016

On the basis that if you don't ask you don't get and given that by having an upgrade to sky q It would enable blind customers to be able to record more live audio described content and have sufficient storage to keep it for longer, as well as being able to access this content while out and about in a way that cited customers do already with sky go can. At the moment, in order for me to be able to listen to audio described content oAmy skybox upstairs while exercising, I have quite a system using Bluetooth transmitter on speaker. I ask that sky seriously consider either a free or discounted upgrade to sky Q for blind customers. I'm sure many of us would be more than happy to show proof of being registered as blind and it would make a huge difference to how we benefit from the use of the service, not to mention that I think it may even gain a little publicity and demonstrate how flexible Sky are supporting their customers. As I live alone, it's not as if I'm going to benefit from all the features of sky q. If possible, perhaps we could discuss this as a solution to the problem. Please feel free for yourself or one of your colleagues to call me on 07779 247216 as this really does sound like a good solution the more I think about it Thanks

Submitted by Will on Saturday, September 24, 2016

hello, do you have an address at the accessibility team at sky for me to write to? your android app on android seems inaccessible to me, whereas on ios the tv guide and all areas are fine.

Submitted by SkyAccess on Thursday, September 29, 2016

Hi Peter. Many thanks for the message and the suggestion. I'm not saying that I don't appreciate the point you're making, but I'm afraid we're not able to offer such a discount right now. Sky Q is a fantastic upgrade for all customers which has been the focus of huge investment, with many benefits, and as such the upgrade is required for all customers. In addition, we are looking at all of our products and apps, and certainly do hope that if you do decide to stay on the Sky+ platform, that you will see improvements on that platform too in time.

Submitted by SkyAccess on Thursday, September 29, 2016

Hi Will. Sure, the team can be reached at
If you let me know your full name I will make sure to ask them to look out for your email and pass it to myself and my colleague directly.

Submitted by StevenM on Monday, October 31, 2016

Hi Sky Access. Just to say that I have been using the Sky Q app for about a week now (finally its available for IPhone users). Its a brilliant app, enabling me to set recordings and play my recording that are on my sky box. I was particularly pleased that I was able to download programmes I'd recorded with audio description to watch while I was away from home. Well done Sky for making such a good job of this app.

Submitted by Peter Holdstock on Monday, October 31, 2016

I've just called the Sky Ultra Fast Fibre team and got a free Sky Q box and just paid £15 installation. What's the app like? Any obvious issues with Voice Over? Sky did imply there is some issue with recordings containing audio description being significantly larger but they are working to fix that. They also said there is less audio description than on Sky Plus but I assume the audio described content on over the air channels is still the same and it's just the catchup content which doesn't have audio description as it doesn't with Sky Plus.

Submitted by Michael on Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Hi I'm getting the new sky Q there next month it has been installed and I'm just wondering if the app is accessible as the sky plus I will I still have problems accessing the sky planner or have they made improvements with that app thank you

Submitted by SkyAccess on Monday, November 7, 2016

Hi all. Glad some people have moved to Sky Q and I hope you are enjoying the new system. @StevenM I'm delighted that you are happy with the app. On iPad I'm confident the app is very good with VoiceOver. On iPhone it is strong too, though I have spotted a couple of small issues which I am feeding back to the team.
If you come across any issues or have any feedback on the Skky Q apps for iPhone or iPad, please do let me know by posting here, we want to get these apps to 100%.

Submitted by SkyAccess on Monday, November 7, 2016

Hi Peter. Regarding audio description, I have just spoken to a colleague and we are not aware of any advice of there being less AD on Sky Q than on Sky+. I'm not sure why you would have been told this. If you do come across any AD issues please do let us know.

Submitted by Michael on Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Hi just got install the new sky Q so I install the new sky Q app for the iPhone seven and it is not working at all it feels to go into TV guide recordings et cetera every time you click on TV guide our recordings it opens up topics it does not go any further than that and also you cannot watch a recording on the app on your TV it can only be watched on your iPhone or iPad not like the old sky plus app

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