Has anybody in the UK tried the new Sky Q app?

Bit of a long shot but was just wondering if anyone in the UK has used the new Sky Q app for the iPAd yet, and if so, what's it like with voiceover?

Forum: 

#1 Now it's been released

I believe this app has now been released so thought it might be an idea to resurrect this post. Has anybody tried the app? If so, is it accessible? I know sky Accessibility has joined this site since Elliot posted this, so any thoughts from Sky would be really welcome on this. I would not want to upgrade unless I were sure the app were accessible.

#2 Sky Q iOS app

The iPad app has been available since launch but the iPhone app only became available a couple of weeks ago. The app works okay with voiceover, with most buttons labelled correctly. However unlike the Sky+ app you can't delete recordings from your planner via the app

#3 Am getting it instaled

Hello I am getting the sky Q installed tomorrow and I will also install the iPhone seven app as well as the iPod sorry the iPad app is well and I will let you know on this forum tomorrow or Thursday how I am getting on with the installation of both of these and how I'm getting on working my away around the sky QTV

#4 good stuff

yes please do, it will be great to hear your thoughts. can't delete recordings from the planner? How then am I meant to do it? I have no sight at all so certainly couldn't manage to do it without some sort of app. I imagine the excellent TV Planner Remote would not help with this.

#5 sky q

unfortunately I don't think you will be able to at the moment, I have a little bit of sight and have to use the remote. it's not like the Sky+ app where you control the box, you can see what's on there and set recordings but you can't delete/play recordings on the box via the sky q app

#6 Not happy at the moment sky

Just installed the new sky about 20 minutes ago and at the moment I am very disappointed with sky because their app is very on accessible to blind users as you cannot actually hit on any of the links because they do not work it seems to randomly pick any link and go onto that sure also you cannot watch a recording on your planner on your TV as it only allows you to watch it on your iPhone or iPad which is very annoying also so I would at the moment stay away from sky Q if you are visually impaired are fully blind

#7 Sky Q

Hello Michael,
I cannot afford Sky Q at the moment and after reading the blurb I thought it might not be accessible.
However, I have put messages on this blog before as well as having long and heated conversations with the technology team at Sky talking about how inaccessible their apps were for blind and partially sighted people.
Happily, they have listened and although it has taken them some time to get accessibility right, their apps work quite well.
I would give their standard accessibility line a ring, make a complaint about the new Q app not being accessible and challenge them to do something about it.
You have to be quite hard with them and point out that having an accessibility team is not only giving disabled people an easy-hold and larger remote control or providing subtitles, you also have to think about making apps accessible to blind and partially sighted viewers... and yes, blind people do watch your Sky channels and pay for the privilege! However, although they cannot see it well or at all, they still want to have choice and control over what they watch and when, and they don't want someone else changing channels for them!

Steve.

#8 This looks very disappointing

This looks very disappointing indeed. NOt able to play recordings with the app? not able to delete recordings? I really don't see the benefits at present, then, unless of course I am content to watch things from the planner on my iPad, which I am not. Bugs in a release I can understand; not even being able to do the fundamentals I cannot. accessibility should really be built in from the ground up with apps like this.

#9 Re

App Developer

Hi all, thanks for the above comments. As mentioned on another post, I am aware of the limitations with regards to managing recordings on the Q box with the app. While this is not entirely an accessibility issue, I understand it's impact is greater for a VI user. I am looking to clarify some questions and come back to you soon.
In terms of actually navigating the Sky Q app with VoiceOver, we would greatly appreciate any detail of the experience. My own sense is that the IPad version is in a good place, but that the iPhone version has some issues to be ironed out.
Steven, thank you for the email you sent in too.

#10 sky q

HI, great to see Sky accessibility on here taking a real interest, I'd agree with most of that, the sky q iPhone app doesn't work quite as flewidly as the iPad version but I still think it is just about workable with voiceover. A couple of buttons not labelled here and there but overall not too bad. I know the ability to manage the planner more, i.e. delete recordings, isn't really an accessibility issue but it definitely greatly effects VI users. In my opinion this definitely needs to be introduced in a future update as currently someone with little or no sight would be unable to use sky q without assistance. Happy to help with any further info, and on another toppic it's still very disappointing that the Sky Sports app is still so inaccessible with all but the top news story in each section readable

#11 SkyQ workability

Hi,

It would be really great to have a guide to this app from an accessibility point of view, but I realise that's a time consuming task for people. I'm quite exercised by this topic at present because Christmas might be a good time to upgrade to sky Q. So, were I to do so, I assume I could at the moment set recordings, and if not watch them on the TV, I could select them in the app to play on my iPad? Am I right about that? If so, well perhaps that's better than nothing. I completely agree with Elliot that ability to manage the planner needs sorting out, and you're right it does affect blind userd disproportionately, even if it isn't stricto sensu an accessibility issue.

By the by, also completely endorse what Elliot says about the Sky Sports app. Very disappointing that even this latest release has not squashed this particular bug. It's been well over a year now, and I have to say the BBC sport app is now much, much better if you want to glance through top stories.

#12 sky q

hi bingo, yes you are correct, you can set recordings and then watch these on either your iPad or iPhone using the app. like I say I've actually found the apps quite easy to use, it's just a shame at the moment you can't manage the planner more via the app. as long as you have audio description turned on for your main sky q box, any recordings you have made will also play with audio description on the iPhone/iPad.

The Sky Sports app has been extremely poor in terms of accessibility for over a year now, I've contacted sky about this several times but have gotten nowhere

#13 App

Hi I am using iPhone 7 with the new sky Q app But not like the two comments above I find the new sky Q app not very responsive and difficult to move around When opening up the app you are greeted with the new series option and it is stuck on default on that you cannot enter TV Guide our recordings are any other option because if you do it just goes into new series as it for some reason is stuck on that page when you do get into the TV Guide the TV channels are only numbered and then give you the time and then the program details there is no name of the channel at the start which it should say arty one followed by the channel number followed by the times followed by day programs but it is not saying what the TV channel is at the moment in the TV Guide The second problem is when you go into the catch up page you cannot download our enter any of these options it may take two times maybe three times tapping on the option to actually get into it for some reason it does not go into it on the first time you tap the screen In the recordings it works pretty well at the moment the way I work it at the moment is I go into the app into recordings and if I want to watch the West Wing I would come down how many times the West Wing is there and then go into recordings on the TV guide on this TV and come down and then press play that is the only way that I can watch the West Wing on TV at the moment because if you pressed the West Wing on the iPhone it would stop playing it on the iPhone as you cannot directly watch it on the TV from the iPhone Oh I forgot in recordings when you are in the recordings page on the TV guide on this TV it does not highlight to tell you that any of the shows in recordings are audio descriptive so maybe that would be fixed on the TV skybox as it does not show up in recordings they are audio descriptive highlighted Nu nu option to unlike the old sky plus app there was a top picks place in there like the one they have no but they are missing the new series option that was very handy to spot when you series is was starting they have taken that out of the new sky Q app So in reflection on the app is not bad but I could definitely do with a bit of tweaking as you might have to double tap it once or twice to get in because it is not responding on the first tab so sky when maybe you when you fix these problems in the app a good hint is the turn on VoiceOver on your device and scroll around the app for maybe one hour and see what problems you may find it's only a hint for you to try this but trust me it will help you a lot wink wink

#14 Hi Eliot. are you still using

Hi Elliot. are you still using the Sky Q app? I'm not sure if I'm going mad but when I first had this app I could play recording that had been recorded with Audio Discription on my IPhone as you describe but now when I play a programme from my box, even if it had audio description, the AD does not play! weirdly, if I download the programme to my device to watch offline, the AD comes back... Also, have you found an easy way to get to the player controls such as rewind, fast forward etc? the ability to be able to use your phone as a remote for the sky box would be amazing-- I believe this is how Sky + works.

#15 sky q

hi, as far as I know you can't pause/rewind etc via the app, don't know about audio description on recordings played on iPhone, it does work with downloads definitely. my main issue is still not being able to control the planner more via the app, for example being able to delete recordings etc.

#16 nothing has changed since 2016

I’ve just had sky Q fitted on Friday. I’m very disappointed to find that nothing seems to have changed since sky acknowledged the issues with Sky Q on this very forum back in November 2016. We can still not delete programs or play programs on the box using the app meaning that it would be easy for a large number of programs to build up on the box and while it would take a long time, eventually the box will fill up. the voice recognition seems great, but you seem to need to know the exact name of the program in order for it to play and if there are programs with very similar names then it’s impossible to get it to play. I think I saw that sky now have a beta testing program for accessibility uses and I will look into that tomorrow and register. I don’t want to give up my Sky Q but at the moment it’s completely useless. One issue I do have is that if I turn my box on and it happens to be on the channel which requires a pain there is no audio so I don’t even know whether the box has turned on. For those who don’t know and already have sky Q, sky have now removed the one month time period whereby after which you cannot downgrade. If you are an accessibility user and have problems using the equipment at any time even many months after the installation, you can ask to be downgraded free of charge they will not charge for any work needed by the engineer.

#17 So glad I do not have this

i thought about upgrading a year or so ago and very nearly did. My thinking at the time was that even if there were issues I wouldn't have to wait that long before they were sorted. I'm right glad I didn't go through with the upgrade. It's a very poor show that nearly two years after acknowleding the issue we are where we were then.

#18 Hi all, so I have a sky q

Hi all, so I have a sky q question, well two actually not sure if anyone will know the answer to the second, but the first should be fairly straight forward, what exactly are the accessibility issues present with the sky q app? and how are they likely to impact day to day use in a house where there could potentially be two people using sky q, I am just trying to gauge how seriously I might be affected if we end up getting sky q.

now on to my second question, and this is the one I am not sure if people will know the answer to, but here goes anyway. can a house be on a mixed sky system, so in other words could my dad have a sky q box down stairs if he wanted, and me keep my existing sky plus box upstairs?
we are not planning to go over to sky q any time soon, but dad has muttered about going over in the past because apparently I think sky q supports 4k tv but plus doesn't, that might not be it its something anyway that q supports which plus doesn't that is totally visual in nature and of no interest to me.
I obviously don't want to go over to sky q if it really does suffer with major accessibility issues, and given skys utter contempt for the needs of its blind customers I have no faith that they will address accessibility issues in sky q or make major improvements to the sky plus app come to that, I mean look at how we had to really fight them to fix the planner issue on sky plus so yes its usable now, but they have totally ignored all our other suggestions that would make plus so much quicker and easier to use.
also am I right in thinking that all recording is handled by one central box and other boxes in the house sort of stream stuff from it? I don't particularly like the idea of my dad being able to snoop on what I watch on tv by looking at my recordings.

#19 Answers

App Developer

Hi Alex. To answer your questions.
1. The VoiceOver issues with the Sky Q app itself are minor enough. The main menu on the iPhone version is labelled as a "Hamburger Button", instead of an accurate label. This is a slide-out drawer menu. When you select an item in this slide-out menu, the menu does not close automatically. You need to slide your finger to the right hand side of the screen and double-tap on one of the items to close the menu. Once you get used to it it's very manageable, but of course is listed as requiring a fix.
The iPad version does not have this issue as there is no slide-out menu. We have a Sky Q iPad App VoiceOver User Guide on our accessibility website if you would be interested in learning more about that app, at www.sky.com/accessibility
The main challenge for visually impaired customers with Sky Q is that, unlike Sky+, you can not manage your Planner, change channels, play shows on the TV etc, from the Sky Q app. In other words the remote control functionality that you do have with the Sky+ app. For this reason, customers who can not see the on-screen menus on the Sky Q box itself on the TV should consider this before upgrading. We hope to add remote functionality to the app in the future.
2. No, it is not possible to have a mixed Sky Q and Sky+ set-up in the same house.
I hope that helps.

#20 Hi thanks for the prompt

Hi thanks for the prompt reply and that does help answer my questions, but also what about recordings which I asked about above? I don't like the thought of my dad being able to snoop through what I have recorded if they are all managed on one central box.
to me it sounds a total deal breaker as far as the lack of planner management goes, I will be trying to make sure dad stays well away from sky q because of this, but the fact is also sky q has been out for a number of years, and yet sky hasn't addressed the rather major planner issue, I don't blame sky access as an individual, but I do blame the company collectively, look at all the feedback we gave about sky plus and none of it has been acted on, I really do feel blind customers are below the bottom of the heap as far as sky is concerned in terms of priority with both sky plus and sky q, and I still think sky plus has been abandoned or is at least very low priority, and it seems sky q is a similar issue in terms of our needs.

#21 What’s sky’s policy for new

What’s sky’s policy for new blind customers given that Sky Q is the only box available? Does that mean that new blind customers wouldn’t be able to use your service at all?

#22 that's shocking if that is

that's shocking if that is the case, my and dad's boxes are about 8 years old, still going strong but that does make me worried about the future if my box breaks or dad's box does, I think this shows increasingly how little sky care about our needs, instead of which they post regular updates to there account management app, seriously talk about skewed priorities. I don't want to have a go at sky access, but at sky the company, I mean look at how infrequently they post updates to there other apps yet they updated my sky only a few days ago.
also if sky q are now the only available boxes sky have little incentive to add new features to sky plus, at best they will keep it ticking over but that's probably about it.

#23 Sky Q, complaint and legal advice

Hi all. Sorry for the slow reply re my last post saying that I would get legal advice regarding the on-going Sky Q issues. I wanted to verify a few details and give Sky a last opportunity to show they are making every reasonable effort to correct these issues.
After spending many hours speaking to both the Sky accessibility team and New Media (the team that develop Sky's apps), I can confirm I am far more disappointed with sky now than I've ever been. While some representatives did everything they could (all be it very little) to assist, some quite frankly were shocking and behaved in what I now know to be a discriminatory manner. The worst being on the so called accessibility team.
I have now spoken in length to the Equality Advisory & Support Service which is linked to the Equality & Human Rights Commission and they have said without any doubt that Sky's actions or in-actions sound like a serious case of both in-direction discrimination and a failure to provide a reasonable adjustment. Both of which are illegal under the Equality Act 2010. I won't go in to detail now but just to let you know I'm in the process of drawing up a very lengthy letter to Sky (as advised by the EASS) submitting a formal complaint and detailing all of the issues going back many years, the treatment I have received from certain individuals, explaining how the law works and how their actions or -inactions could be seen to break the law. I'll be giving them 28 days to respond. I have also spoken to two solicitors who have confirmed this is the correct cause of action. All parties including the EASS have asked me to go back to them should I not be happy with the response and they have said they would be willing to support commencement of legal action. I'll keep you posted and would value any further feedback or useful information anyone has regarding this as it's new to me and Sky is a large organisation to take on. That said, the size of the organisation and it's significant resources should help our case as it makes it less likely that our requests would seem unreasonable. If anyone would like to help me with this and be involved possibly as a group then please email me at peterholdstock@msn.com and use the subject Sky Accessibility. Your support would be most welcome.

#24 Anyone have any objection to your input on here being used in ac

Hi. As the subject suggests. If anyone has any issues with me using their input on this forum in either my formal complaint to Sky or in any action which may follow, please post here and I will do my best to remove your comments and/or username. Thanks to those who have shown support by contacting me directly at peterholdstock@msn.com. Peter

#25 I've used Sky Q since it was introduced

I know this is going to annoy a lot of people but I have been using Sky Q since it was initially introduced. The app, at least on an iPad, is perfectly usable - explore by touch is your friend when accessing the TV guide. As to deleting programs and such, I always use the box's Remote for this - the one with buttons not the touch version.

Here's how to access programs on the box if you don't want to use the app:

  1. Press the sky button - you are focused on most recents.
  2. Press the right arrow key once to enter this menu.
  3. You will be on the first program in the list, latest to earliest in order. The list is arranged in groups of 3 and the interface doesn't wrap around. For instance, say we have programs called first, second, third etc, right arrowing 3 times puts you on the third of that row. Down arrowing from there places you on the 6? one. Basicly, if you want to go to the first program of any row , left arrow twice after you reach the end. This isn't as confusing as it sounds.
  4. To delete a program after watching it, press the back button - the small round one above the volume buttons. Once you here audio from the current channel, press the right arrow followed by the select key to remove it. After doing this, left arrow once to get back to the list of programs because focus remains on the delete button. If you want to delete multiple programs at once, you can keep pressing select instead of moving left.
  5. At any time, if you are lost, press the sky button and you are always placed in most recents.

The only other thing to be aware of is that if you have programs in folders, you will have to select twice to begin watching. I know, all of this sounds difficult but it really isn't. I have recorded many hours of documentaries and such with no issues at all. In fact, for me, it's the most accessible platform I have ever had.

I find it very interesting that we have blind users who are very capable of using advanced computers and such but refuse to learn a UI. As I said, the interface doesn't wrap, there's only 3 programs per row and it's really easy once you get the layout.Another bit of advice when deleting programs. Use the Sky Q app with the box as well for ensurance. For instance, what I do is open the program I want to watch on the box, use the app to see it in the most recents recordings and put my finger on the program's title. This means that when I delete it from the box, if there's another program under it, VO announces it so I just press left arrow once, then select to watch the next one. Once all programs in a folder have been deleted, VO will say, "This program is no longer available" so I know I've got rid of them off the box.

I know there's a lot here and I'm bombarding folks but I wanted to let people know that it's not all doom and gloom, at least for me. Remember, the Sky Q app mirrors the box when viewing recordings. They're listed in groups of three so you can either flick through the items and count 3, 6, 9, 12 etc or scroall the list manually.

#26 Re I’ve used sky q

That’s a very useful information so thank you for sharing. However, this is hardly intuitive and although it’s doable, there are many individuals who struggle with the concept, particularly when you have months of recordings and depending on how much your recording, it is very difficult to remember what has been recorded. Do you have a sky multi room subscription? I found that you need the multi room subscription in order to be able to see the programs on the box listed in the app. If you don’t have a multi room subscription lowest in the app disappears which means I’m paying £12 a month for multi room subscription that I actually don’t want other than to be able to see the list of recordings. As I say, information you have given is very useful. Does Sky have this information anywhere on their website?

#27 I didn't know that the box

I didn't know that the box doesn't show programs if you are not a multi-screen subscriber. I am, because I share Sky with my partner who is fully sighted. As to the intuitiveness of the system, I can tell you with perfect honesty that I have 6 rows of recordings, some of which are in multiple series so please do not tell me that people don't get the concept because that is there problem. We, as blind people, decided to get Sky. Sky is a visual medium. I'm sorry that you are so upset with how you have been treated by them but please be aware that some of us have bothered to put the time in and learn this system. I don't think Sky have my instructions on the website but they can use them if they wish. Well, at least I tried to help people.

#28 Multi room subscription

James, apologies if it wasn’t clear but I actually said that if you don’t have a multi room subscription the programs which you have recorded on your box, don’t appear in the recordings list on the app. You have to bear in mind that firstly, not everyone has someone cited to assist him with learning the user interface are some people have other combined disabilities as well as being blind which means they struggle with understanding the spatial layout of the screen like that. Everyone is different. TV is not now just a visual medium And the sound and interaction with other devices is also becoming increasingly part of the experience. How did you figure out how to delete programs? I’m guessing you didn’t just press up right left down randomly and that your sighted partner gave some input into what had happened on the box. I have given Sky many opportunities to explain the user interface to me in such a way that I would be able to use it Indeed, they give me the option of reverting back to sky plus which I may or may not take up. However, it was my suggestion that perhaps we stick with it so we can try and address these issues and I would be happy for them to tell me anything that would make it easier for me to use the box. When I raise these issues I do not complain or get angry, I simply discuss the problem with them in order to try and find a solution.

#29 Deleting programs

I figured out how to delete programs by realising that once the back button's pressed to exit what you're currently watching, focus stays on the program title. Of course we can't go up/down because the programs, once presented, are in a list. Moving right from a focused program places you on delete, no matter if you press right once or a thousand times. As I said in the initial comment, if you have more than a single program in a folder, press left again so that you are focused on the next program in line.

I did realise what you meant about the multi-screen subscription, I just can't comment on it because we have that here. Now, I admit, the iPhone app isn't all that great but it's again doable though I prefer the iPad version for the TV guide. If assistance is needed with that, let me know because I use it all of the time.

#30 Playing from the start of programs

I forgot to add, if you are on the delete option, press down once then select to play from the begining of a program, handy if you forget where you were up to or fell asleep. I'll post another tip now.

#31 Skipping parts of programs

One of the nice things about the Sky Q boxes is that you can fast forward and rewind programs at one minute intervals. What you do is this. Press the pause button, then right arrow to advance in roughly one minute amounts. Press play to resume. So, for instance, to skip most ads, I pause, press right arrow 4 times or so, then play again to resume. You can of course use your ordinary rewind and fast forward buttons located left and right of the play button to refine it. I hope this helps.

#32 race to the bottom?

James, that's very useful information. i was slightly lost reading it but that wasn't your fault - I'm sure it's easier doing it than reading about it. I also reckon that I could do it if I had a Sky Q box; but that really isn't the point. On my old Nokia 51-10, I was able to send texts, select ring tones, and even use the phone book by doing exactly what you describe here. I knew, for example, that the ring tones were the fifth option in the phone's menu. i also had relatively few contacts in there back in tose days so I could count down to the one I wanted - that is, if I didn't remember their number anyway. When I changed my phone, I needed to learn to count the right number of options all over again, but it was doable. If I lost count, I could simply press the clear button a few times till I was sure I was back at the phone's start screen and begin again. similarly as a lad growing up in London, I knew the journey from Turnpike Lane to Hounslow central was 26 stops. I was fine if I kept count. If I lost count, I could always ask someone and get back on track. it was doable. Buses were doable too - I knew that the bus took a very sharp left turn just before my local bus stop. If I wasn't sure of the route, I could ask the driver to tell me when to get off.

Here's the thing, however: why should we make do with doable? Your argument that Sky is a visual medium (I would have said audiovisual medium) that blind people choose to get could have been used in respect of text messaging on the old phones. It could apply to all sorts of on demand televisual media today. It could apply to talking buses and computerised announcements on the tube. It could apply to medicines - I was quite happy telling apart various over the counter medication before those mandatory Braille labels came in so what's the point of those? it would have been a great argumetn for accessibility to stand still, in other wordss. Where's the sin in making life easier? is not using Sky Q supposed to be a pleasure, not a duty?

Don't get me wrong, I'm very pleased that you're happy with your user experience, but that experience is riddled with work-arounds which I think quite a lot of people would not have the confidence to use. I think you'd have a stronger argument if Sky q had only been released a couple of months or so ago, or if these issues had only just been raised, but neither is the case. As far as i can remember, Sky Q has been a topic of discussion for over two years.

#33 I was offering solutions for now

I disagree with you that people couldn't learn it, if blind people can play with advanced synthesizers, computers and telephones, they can learn this. As I keep saying, the UI is consistant because it never wraps around. I'd say you had an argument if that was the case. Your comment regarding accessible medicins falls flat because the labels don't tell you how to take them do they, it's just the medicin's name. All I was attempting to do was explain that this system is usable if you put a little bit of effort in. You already have the app, you already have the list of recorded programs on that, if you can't count in multiples of three, you have a lot more difficulties than needing to use Sky. I'm not suggesting that Sky can't improve anything or shouldn't, I am just explaining that the world isn't going to stop for us so why not at least get what we can out of it today.

#34 Twin-track approach

OK, fair cop on the medicines example, but I would submit that all the others still stand testament to the point that we should not have to settle for doable. There is no inconsistency betwee nsaying that, on the one hand, and carrying on with life on the other. To put it another way, I don't think that those saying that we should not have to settle for doable are a fortiori saying that the world must stop for us. Of course those of us who have sky should try to get the most out of it that we can, but when there are serious disparities between the able-bodied user experience and the disabled user experience that have gone unaddressed for two years I don't think it's unreasonable to explore processes, including the legal process, for changing that. After all, why else are those processes there?

#35 How to delete a single program

Instructions given so far have been very helpful. Thanks. If you have a single episode or movie in the list of recordings, how do you delete it as I assume if you press to go right it will move to the next program rather than putting you on the delete option Also, how do you delete entire series?

#36 Deleting individual programs

Peter, the procedure's the same. you have to open the program in question first. So, watch it, press back press right then press select to delete. In the case that there's only one program not in a folder, you are placed back in the list. In other words, focus only stays on that delete button if you have more than one program in a folder. As I said, use this in conjunction with the app for reassurance.

#37 Deleting entire series

To do this, begin watching the first program in the list and back out of it. Press right to go to delete and keep pressing select until another program starts playing. Alternatively, do this along with the app so you can here the next one in the list and keep going until VO says nothing. Use the screen and you will see this, "This program is no longer available", meaning that you have emptied the entire folder. Press back a few times to get back to the main view, you can press as many times as you like.

#38 although the instructions

although the instructions sound helpful I have no intention of going anywhere near sky q, I am still in favor of taking action against sky, I mean look at there total disinterest in feedback they have been given, although james offers work arounds, the fact is that these are work arounds, and lets say you have months of recordings its not going to be easy to choose at will what you want to watch. plus the apps don't have the same functions as the remote, i.e bulk delete for programs etc. Plus I would say if there is an app which can talk to the box and be used with VoiceOver then sky should make reasonable effort to allow it to control as much of the box as possible.
explore by touch sounds a pretty horrible way of navigating the tv guide quite frankly, and if sky are not held to account it allows them to treat us as below third class citizens, the fact is they are not interested in anything we have to say despite the accessibility team being on applevis, I mean look at how long it took them to fix one issue with the sky plus app and how they have done nothing with it since to improve it.
Of course I am not saying we should snap our fingers and they should jump to it, but I am in favor of constructive dialogue, and considering there size as a company its not like they don't have money to spend on development its not like we are having a go at a one or two man company here, we have been very patient and tolerant of them probably two tolerant for the past few years.
also, not all blind people own an iPad, I certainly don't because for me it would just be an overgrown iPhone with a big screen to get lost on, and it doesn't fit with my life, the idea of getting one just to make using sky or sky q more accessible is ridiculous, although I am sure iPads are useful to quite a lot of blind people equally a lot have no use for them because they already have iPhones or other apple gadgets.

#39 Explore by touch is fine with the guide

Explore by touch works perfectly fine with the TV guide. Each channel is on it's own line, and at least on an iPad pro, 3 programs are in a row going from left to right. You scroll it with the 3 finger swipe left ,. The days of the week are tabs at the bottom.

As to the comments about an iPad being an overgrown iPhone, that's personal opinion and in my view completely untrue. I use an iPad as an only, not primary, computer because I prefer the touch interface for health reasons. For me, the iPad has been the best computer I ever had and this is coming from someone who's 40 this year, had Windows PCs and who's final desktop was a mac pro 2008 so I have hung around.

As to taking legal action, I shall leave that up to the rest of you here because I want no part of it. I came here to offer some assistance because of the negativity around this platform. My intentions were to show that with a little time and effort, it's possible to use it. All the comments about finding months worth of recordings don't apply because I do indeed have months worth of things and can access them perfectly well. I've offered my time and effort and I didn't even have to bother. Next time I shall let people do as they wish. Taking action will get you absolutely nothing, it was your choice to have Sky and that is how it will be seen. Okay, I am out of this thread and will no longer contribute.

#40 wow talk about throwing your

wow talk about throwing your toys out of the pram, nobody said they didn't want your advice or help but just because some of us disagree with your views james you have a hissy fit. its almost like your saying there are work arounds so sky don't need to bother to make things easier to use, its not like they are being asked to make blindness specific apps, they are just being asked to improve accessibility on there existing mainstream app, and bare in mind just because you find something easy or intuitive to use other people might not especially if they have no sighted help or are elderly, have mobility issues etc. none of us have said your wrong or disagreed with you just expressed a different opinion. of course your entitled to your views on iPads as I am entitled to mine, I think the main draw for them though is for sighted people who value a bigger screen, is that really of benefit to someone who has no sight at all, though of course if someone who is blind wants to use an iPad for health reasons, sound quality or any other reasons that is entirely there choice. for me I see it as an overgrown screen that it is very easy to get lost on, and I hate giving mum tech support on her iPad especially in areas like settings or male etc. I like the one window approach on the iPhone and smaller devices but that's my opinion and everyone is entitled to different views.

#41 Not throwing my toys out etc.

You know what interests me? Blind people buy these iOS devices and flick, flick, flick, etc instead of attempting to learn the UI of applications. iPads are meant to be touched, not flicked... I wrote those instructions so that users can at least realise that things are possible, not perfect, but possible. I'm offended, genuinely offended, because this community always does this - shoots down any sort of progress, no matter what. Yes, Sky could do better. Yes, the world should bow down to our every need because we can't see and our eyes don't work. It's not my fault many blind users buy iPads and never bother to get beyond the flicking stage because VoiceOver's free and you all want every single app to bow to your demands. The real world's different, not perfect, just different.

I didn't have to write those usage instructions at all. I can use Sky Q thanks and could have said "I'm alright jack", but I didn't. I took my time to formulate useful instructions so that people like Peter especially who has appreciated my help, (thanks by the way), could get some of the benefits that I have had. Applevis apparently is about giving empowerment, yet the entire premise seems to be "let's whine if VO doesn't read things to our exacting standard"... I'm genuinely dismayed at my own kind. Many of you sit there, complaining, bitching, moaning because the world isn't stopping for you because you're blind. Some of us try to get along with things, some of us just find excuses. I'm dismayed and ashamed, genuinely ashamed, to be totally blind. I mean it. I've never asked anything of this community because I have enjoyed, genuinely enjoyed, figuring things out for myself. I like learning an application's layout, I appreciate UI design and I can't see anything at all. It's so sad that we have advanced technology like the iPad and some blind users refuse to embrace the screen. Why buy an iPad if you don't want to touch it? How stupid is that philosophicaly.

All this "Using explore by touch is a horrible way to use the TV guide" stuff? Guess what? iPads are touch-enabled devices, learn to use them. It is not my fault that many blind people buy these devices and don't bother. I'm not saying developers can't do better from an accessibility point of view before you put words I didn't say into my mouth, we have to function.

In relation to Sky, it's not my fault that I understand and figured things out for myself, so stop trying to make me responsible for Sky's inability to add accessibility. I don't work for them, have no input in that regard and just use the product to the best of my ability as it stands today.

I always clash with this community. It's all about empowerment apparently but I've never once been empowered by anything that this community has done. Yes, the odd blind game is fun, but I'm the one who uses an iPad 24 hours a day as my only computer, and have done so for the past 2 years. I'm the one who never has asked for assistance with my iOS devices, has learnt how our applications work to the best of my ability and has embraced the iPad entirely. It might be an overgrown iPhone for some people, it’s a computer for everything, as far as I’m concerned. The sad thing is that this sight is rather fake in it's approach. It's all "can we have a podcast" because we're too slow to figure things out for ourselves? Guess what? I never needed any podcast to understand an application. If it's not suitable for me, I get rid of it and look for alternatives. Basically, I'm saying that we don't try enough and we've forgotten the art of learning for ourselves.

I have nothing more to say, one wonders if anything I say makes a damn difference at all. Many of you can embrace the past while I enjoy the future.

P.S, for a sight that prides itself on accessibility, braille screen input doesn't work correctly in your comment boxes - new lines are ignored. Testers didn't work on that then I see. Applevis, as long as it's Windows, that's fine. Typical.

P.P.S, I believe I could have contributed to your blog team. I've documented my usage of an iPad as an only computer, but I guess that won't interest you because I don't flick my way through the UI.

#42 James, I certainly didn't

James, I certainly didn't mean to imply that you were responsible for skys lack of accessibility, at the end of the day I do flick through most apps, though I do use explore by touch occasionally with some apps or on the home screen but I just find flicking is what I am used to, I guess if you start out using a method its a case of what your used to.
as it happens I completely agree with you about people not taking the time to learn apps, I get quite frustrated when I see really obvious forum posts asking questions that could be solved with a little bit of research or posts where they ask a question which can only be solved if they talk to apple.
I think a lot of these really obvious questions are often asked by non English speakers or people who don't want to do research, and I agree with you about podcasts demonstrating apps or that are on really stupid topics like demonstrating ios voices.
You say that you come into conflict with the community have you thought it could be because sometimes what you write can come across as abrasive and confrontational even if you don't mean it to be especially when people are just reading text without a human voice to give emotion to the words? for example I read a lot of what you write as being angry often, and look at me I can do all these things because I have been around the block why isn't everyone else like me. again this might not be your intention but that's how I read it. there is nothing wrong with trying to encourage people to be independent or do there own research I like to do that and offer help where I can, its just a question of not seeming so black and white people have differing levels of ability, confidence etc. nobody has said they weren't grateful for your instructions, I myself don't need them as I am comfortably on sky plus which is where I plan to stay, and like I said iPads aren't for everyone but if people find them useful and have switched over fully to them then well done I am not ready to ditch my pc yet. there is nothing wrong with having views and opinions but you are quite forceful in the way you write them, and remember a lot of people reading what you write don't know you and can only go by your words.

#43 Let's get back to the topic

Hi folks,
Unintentionally I'm sure, we seem to have descended into vitreol. Can we accept that none of us was seeking to get personal about someone else? We do want Sky Access to take this topic seriously, after all. The real story of where we are at, in my view, is this:

1. Sky Q is usable. there is the need for work-arounds, but it is usable if you are willing and able to learn how.

2. But (and this is the point I don't think James would accept) we should not have to make do with usable or doable. The Tube before announcements, and the buses before talking buses in areas lucky enough to have them, were both doable and usable, but talking buses and Tube announcements were still necessary and welcome. to point this out isn't to wait for the world to bow down to our every wish. In the present case, it is not an unreasonable opinion that Sky's accessibility on Sky Q is not good enough and should be better.

Just to give another personal example: Adobe Connect. It's hopeless. It really is a terrible online classroom platform; and yet i teach with it every single week with my bundle of work-arounds. at the same time, I push for changes to make it better. I don't think the two are mutually exclusive.

#44 well said bingo, and sky plus

well said bingo, and sky plus also could do with lots of improvements as well as sure its usable but there is so much more sky could do. but I doubt sky access are really keeping a close eye on this topic.

#45 I don't think Sky are either

That was why I posted the instructions because I saw this thread ages ago and didn't have time to write them. My other post by the way was written late and I was tired at the time. I don't mean to be confrontational - I was one of those people who were told that if you want something, do it yourself. The situation with Sky Q and my usage is just illustrative of what's possible. The fact that I take programs off the box and watch them on my iPad away made it one of the most brilliant platforms for me so I was kind of just spreading the good news. I'm not here to offend anyone at all and one person's offense is another person's kick up the backside so to speak. If I'm frustrated, it's because I want us to enjoy everything that this digital life has to offer us and that's just it.

#46 that all sounds reasonable to

that all sounds reasonable to me, at the end of the day we are all about pooling and sharing ideas and information. I just hope the fact that you can use it doesn't mean sky think they have an excuse to not make improvements though actually they seem to think that anyway. But I am glad it works for you at any rate and hopefully others as well. and if Peter does end up sending his letter it might finally make them sit up and take notice of our needs. though they are not the only content provider who could do with making improvements by any means, that's something the rnib really should think about doing a campaign on to all the major providers both online and offline, that would be them doing something useful for once.

#47 Sky in general

I think it's difficult when content providers such as Netflix, the BBC, ITV and even Amazon prime now, are making efforts to include adaptive technology in their products. It seems logical that Sky, a giant in providing content, would follow suit.

It's great that, with a little work, Sky Q is partially accessible. Trouble is, we now expect such things to be completely accessible. Remember, we used to have to deal with work arounds constantly, as recently as a decade ago if not shorter.

For my part, I'm disappointed that Sky hasn't made much effort. It's an expensive platform to take a chance on and, from what I've read, lacks convenience which is expected from such a cost. The offerings from sky are fragmented and confusing at best, don't even start on the now tv app... Also, as far as I know, Sky have not introduced audio description.

My personal feelings are that Sky is a cash cow, expensive, stuffed with mind numbing adverts... But, it could be an excellent all in one platform for content consumption for people such us ourselves. I'm looking for a central hub to watch live and on demand tv and films with an intuitive interface. The Apple TV isn't bad, it's still far from perfect and watching live TV with a 10 MB connection is not great on my end.

If anyone from Sky is reading this, we would very much like to be included in your future developments. Remember, it is an ageing population. Simplicity and ergonomics are paramount for your continued survival in a market where cable cutting is becoming the norm... Better hurry... Snip snip.

#48 Audio description is on Sky

I won't address your comment about conveniance because it works well enough for my needs. Yes, speech on the box would be great, though the app itself mirrors the box to such an extent in as far as accessing programs, it's a nice thing to have. As to your comment about it being expensive, yes it is but I personally think it's good value for money. Amazon prime by the way is a horrible experience, fragmented and really quite lackluster.

#49 That's exciting regarding audio description

Hey, this is cool. Is AD also available with the on demand stuff such as box sets and movies and can one watch it with AD on on their IOS device.

I have to agree with you, the amazon efforts are currently poor but I'm glad they're including AD for some of their own productions now.

It's all in the right direction, just not as rapidly as we might want. :)

#50 I don't think it's everywhere

AD is certainly on some programs but it's not on any of the box sets or downloads, at least the last time I tried. to be fair though, channel 4's app don't seem to offer AD either at least un iOS, though I could just not be figuring it out. I agree with the Amazon comments, prime video is a disgrace on AppleTV because it's hard to know which programs have AD on them, not to mention yet again, I couldn't enable it. All these systems have issues but I just don't see Sky adding any speech to boxes or anything like that - if they do I'll be the first to try it.

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