Sky News Launches Video-Enabled iPhone App that also Lets Viewers Submit News Stories and Pictures

--BSkyB Reported to Be Set to Announce Microsoft Xbox 360 Partnership

BSkyB's Sky News arm on Wednesday launched a free-to-download iPhone and iPod touch application on the UK and Ireland Apple App store. According to the company, the new advertising-supported app delivers breaking news via video, images and text, and presents users with seven different content categories: top stories, UK news, sports, business, world news, showbiz and "strange news" (based on a popular feature from

In addition, users will be able to send Sky News their own stories and pictures directly through the new application via a special tool, and will also be able to sign up for breaking news alerts that will be sent directly to their iPhone by text. By selecting the new app's "video" icon, users can watch a news headlines video, a top showbiz headlines video, and a video weather report delivered by one of Sky News's weather presenters. "We are delighted that the video capabilities of this app for iPhone and iPod touch bring yet another first to Sky News viewers," James Weeks, Sky News's executive producer for new media, said in a prepared statement. "We have spent a long time developing this app to make sure that it delivers first-class breaking news in the way that Sky News viewers and Web users have come to expect. We are also looking forward to receiving news and pictures from iPhone users, further enhancing our reputation for being first for breaking news, wherever you are."

In April, BSkyB launched a remote-record iPhone and iPod touch app for its Sky+ DVR. According to the company, since its April 5th launch, the app has had over 260,000 downloads, and an average of 60% of total remote record requests to Sky+ are being received through it.

In other BSkyB news:

  • A number of reports out of the UK speculate (based on a scheduled press event) that the company will this Friday announce a partnership with Microsoft to offer a programming service (no details of which have yet leaked out) on the latter's Xbox 360 gaming console.
  • The company has licensed S3's StormTest test and analysis system to automate testing of its set-top boxes. S3 bills the system as removing the need for "time-consuming, expensive and error-prone manual testing" and as being able, due to its client-server architecture, to support remote, on-site and field testing, spanning the entire development cycle from early product development through deployment.