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Sky Go is yet another Ice Cream Sandwich delay

Sky Go doesn't yet work on the latest version of Android -- so you'll have to choose between Ice Cream Sandwich or Mad Men.

Are you a Sky customer with an Android phone? Thinking of updating to Ice Cream Sandwich? Not so fast, my friend -- not if you want to keep watching Sky telly on your phone.

Avid CNET reader Ben Williams dropped us a line to tell us, "Last week I updated Android on my HTC Sensation to Ice Cream Sandwich, and have just discovered that Sky Go is not supported by it. Did you know about this? Has anyone else reported it? Is it because not many devices run with ICS and are Sky planning a fix?"

All excellent questions, which I put to Sky. "At present Sky Go is supported on the most commonly used and latest Android operating systems 2.2 and 2.3," a spokesperson for the broadcaster replied. "If existing Sky Go users choose to upgrade to V4.0 they will not be able to stream content through the Sky Go app for the time being."

And for why, Sky, for why? "To ensure customers receive the best experience, some devices may require a significant amount of work and testing before services such as Sky Go can support them." Don't we know it -- just look at the debacle of the Samsung Galaxy S2, currently mired in an Ice Cream shambles as Samsung and the phone networks struggle to unleash the update.

Sky Gone

The Sky Go situation is yet another example of Android's Achilles heel: the fact that updates cause such massive inconsistencies. We love Android to bits, but all this nonsense over updates does nothing except frustrate the people who use it.

Thanks to all this update upheaval, as reader Ben points out, Ice Cream Sandwich isn't that widespread yet, so it may not be very high on Rupert Murdoch's to-do list. But Sky is pretty committed to mobile viewing, with a range of apps and the Sky Go service. It's also preparing an on-demand service that doesn't require a dish, called Now TV, so fingers crossed ICS support won't take too long.

When can Android owners go back to Sky Go on the go? "We cannot give a definitive date for the release of Sky Go on ICS," Sky says. "We aim to launch Sky Go on this operating system as soon as possible."

Pretty vague stuff. So for now, Ben and everyone else with an Android phone or tablet will have to stick with Gingerbread, the current version of Android, if you want to keep watching Mad Men, Game of Thrones and The Love Machine while out and about. There's nothing wrong with Gingerbread of course -- although Ice Cream Sandwich puts you on the cutting edge. You'll just have to decide which is the bigger deal: face unlock or Gadget Geeks?

Which is more important to you: having the latest update or having working apps? Should apps and services support all updates, even if they're not widely used yet? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.