Sky has announced the launch of its Sky News for iPad app.

The app, which is free for the moment but will move to a subscription model in the future, can be downloaded from the App Store now.

It offers live and on-demand video, as well as image galleries and articles from the Sky News website. It is designed specifically for the iPad and updates in real time, according to Sky.

John Ryley, head of Sky News, said: "With more and more of our viewers embracing mobile devices to stay connected to the news, the launch of Sky News for iPad is one of the most important developments in Sky News' history."

"We challenged ourselves by coming up with new ways to deliver news to our users, taking advantage of the unique features and functionality of iPad. We wanted to bring users more control and flexibility to how they view and interact with the news they want. The result is Sky News for iPad," he continued.

For now the app is free, though Sky said that it would become subscription-based "in the near future for non-Sky customers". This move signals the next step in Rupert Murdoch's plans to monetize digital news in the face of declining revenues from his empire's print titles.

Earlier today Macworld reported that The Daily, News Corp's iPad-only newspaper, would be coming to Europe in the summer.

However, it is believed that European publishers' reservations about Apple's subscription policies for iTunes need to be settled before a launch date is finalised. Presumably, subscriptions for the Sky News iPad app will also not be put in place until this matter is cleared up.