More than 2 million people have downloaded Sky News’ award-winning application for iPhone and iPod touch, the channel announced today. The news comes as Sky News launches an updated version of the popular app, which currently boasts 700,000 unique users per week and has been in the top free download chart in Apple’s UK and Ireland App store since launch.

Downloads peaked at 200,000 per month in April this year, during the General Election campaign, when special extra functions were added. There was a further spike in the number of downloads in July - the month that saw the World Cup and the Raoul Moat manhunt dominating the news.

The latest version of the app, which originally launched in May last year, has been optimised for the iPhone 4. It provides enhanced picture quality for Apple’s Retina display, and enables users to share stories on Facebook and Twitter. Further enhancements include the ability to read pre-stored news while the phone is offline, and the ability to swap between black and white text – to suit the user’s preference.

In 2009, the Sky News app won a Royal Television Society Innovation award. It delivers breaking news by text, images and video in categories including UK news, sport, business, world news, showbiz news and weather. The app also enables users to send in their own stories and pictures, and participate in the channel’s forums and analysis blogs. It passed the landmark 2 million downloads in September.

David Gibbs, General Manager Mobile, BSkyB said: “As more of our customers use our services via their mobile devices, it's important that we continue to innovate and provide the best experience possible.”

James Weeks, Executive Producer, New Media for Sky News, said: "We’re delighted that this app has been such a runaway success. Users know we are the first place to look for breaking news, and they’re coming in increasing numbers. The enhancements we’re announcing today will help our journalism reach an even larger new audience.”

The app is available for free from Apple’s App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at iTunes Store