Sky is rolling out its latest update for the Sky Q platform, and it’ll see further improvements to content discovery, Sky Go, and a focus on elevating accessibility options for those that are hard of hearing or have visual impairments.
The latest update to Sky Q set-top boxes begins its roll out to today (Wednesday 31st), and it’ll see improvements made to the platform as well as some developments to its Sky Go service.
Starting with the accessibility options, there’s a new feature in Voice Guidance that aims to make it easier for Sky Q customers with visual impairments to interact with the service. Voice Guidance can be activated (or switched off) by uttering the words ‘Voice Guidance on’ or ‘Voice Guidance off’ into the Sky Q remote, and it’ll enable spoken descriptions of each menu as users glide through the interface. Having been shown a demonstration of it in action, it appears to work quickly and precisely.
Voice Guidance works alongside Voice Search and existing Sky Q accessibility features such as High Contrast Mode and the British Sign Language zone (BSL Zone) – which includes on demand content and entertainment from BSL – as well as the Accessibility Remote. It should be noted that Sky’s accessibility features won’t be available on different apps on the platform (such as Disney+, for example), as each app will have its own selection of accessibility features.
Other updates include tighter integration with Disney+, with titles on the video streaming service appearing in broader voice and text searches. Search for Disney+ exclusives such as The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and you’ll be taken to a dedicated Show Centre with every episode curated in one place.
Voice search continues to be finessed with more ways to use your voice to find entertainment. Say ‘what should I watch?’ and you’ll find results tailored to your watching habits from what’s currently trending on Sky, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, BBC and other apps. If you’re exercising at home then saying ‘let’s get physical’ as you rack up those stomach crunches will bring up the latest fitness content from Spotify, Sky, YouTube, FiiT and more besides.
Sky Go has gained a few improvements, too. There’s a new ‘Continue Watching’ rail to make it easier to pick up from where you left off, while there are more rails/rows of content in ‘Sky Channels’ and ‘Browse by Category’ that aim to make it easier to find content when out and about. Sky Go has also been rolled out as an iOS widget, allowing for even faster access to content without having to search the home screen.
It’s good to see Sky Q are rolling out more accessibility features continuing a trend of TV platforms boosting their credentials in this field, with Freeview Play launching its Accessible TV Guide last year and Amazon’s Fire TV accessibility options for the visually impaired. Sky customers will start to see these features roll out over the next few weeks.