APP OF THE DAY: Sky Sports News (iPhone & iPad)

It's a sad day for sports fans.

No, not because the mighty West Ham made a £4 million loss on Italian winger Alessandro Diamanti (£6 million! Really Gianfranco, really?) but because Sky Sports News is no longer available on Freeview.

But don't despair because there is good news on the SSN front.

Firstly a HD channel has been launched (channel 455) so you'll be able to see the unbelievably gorgeous Georgie Thompson in even greater clarity and there's also a new iOS app to get excited about.

Sky Sports News

Format
iPhone / iPad
Price
Free
Where
iTunes

Firstly we should point out that this isn't an iPhone app that has been hacked onto the iPad. It's one of those double native apps (like BBC News) that is formatted for both platforms independently and as such you'll be getting a nicer iPad experience.

The app contains all of the features that you'd expect from a sports news app - namely sports news in text and video form but it also adds a nice little bonus feature - Sky Sports News Radio.

SSN Radio is a brand new service that broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and concentrates entirely on breaking sports news.

There's no phone-ins or Ian Wright tantrums here (like a certain other sports radio station) and Sky says that the radio should be of vast consolation to Freeview viewers who have lost their channel.

"Sky Sports News viewers will hear many similarities - from the familiar music and reporters to regular features such as Soccer Saturday", it says.

"In addition, Sky Sports News Radio's dedicated journalists will bring exclusive reports and interviews on issues ranging from football to horse racing".

Back to the apps and the iPad app is, obviously, a bit nicer. After all, it's got a lot more screen real-estate to play with.

Whereas the iPhone version has a homescreen with a list of stories and a button to choose specific sports, the iPad homescreen contains a news ticker and the main stories continuously roll at the top.

There is also a nice tab option at the top to switch between sports and you can customise what sports appear on your homepage.

Both versions of the app also give you the option to watch Sky Sports News live - providing you've got a Sky Mobile TV account, although technically this is just a link to another app.

Look, we know that an app isn't going to make up for missing your daily dose of the lovely Georgie but hey, it's free and it's better than a kick up the bum.

Our only quibble is that it needs multi-task support so you can keep playing SSN Radio whilst you're on other apps.

Let's hope Sky addresses this in a future update.