Design & Development with tvOS

A new approach to consumer connection: Apple TV.

With Apple taking on one of the last remaining untouched consumer-facing mediums – television – developers and designers are venturing into the relatively unknown world of creating applications exclusively for the home TV. Within a year or two’s time, few in the digital world will remember a time when building in tvOS was a vast no-man’s land, with little direction and an overwhelming lack of advertising support. Yet, if this is the new face of watching commercial content, shouldn’t you be thinking of dipping your digital toes into the world of Apple TV?

As one of the first agencies to successfully plan, design, build and launch an app exclusively for Apple TV, we understand the ins and outs of the burgeoning platform. Our Apple TV app, Furcaster, is a weather-based app targeted towards teaching children about weather, and stimulates curiosity and integrates learning seamlessly through the power of play. Click here to learn more about Furcaster.

If you’re thinking of entering into the world of tvOS development, here are a few snippets of insight:

  • Focus engine: the tvOS focus engine controls which UI element is currently selected. Developers need to create interactable UI elements which can be automatically selected by the focus engine.
  • App size limit: size matters, so make sure your build does not exceed 200MB for the initial download.
  • Event forwarding & the menu button: Apple requires that you allow users to exit your app by pressing the menu button from a logical place, such as your home screen. However there might be a need to have your home button to do other things depending on context. Knowledge of event forwarding is a must.
  • Web view: basically, there aren’t any web views in tvOS, so it is imperative to plan accordingly.

Interested in learning more about the intricacies of designing and developing for tvOS, or seeing your product in the homes of millions of Apple TV users? Drop us a line, we love talking tvOS shop.

Ready to be on TV?