Creating an Android TV application means reaching 110 million active users. A good market to promote your business and diversify your sources of income.
However, building an app for a TV is different from developing an Android app on a mobile. In this article, we will study the specifics of the Android TV application as well as the tools and methods to create it.
If you would like to develop your own Android TV application, submit a project to Codeur.com to find an Android developer who is capable of carrying out your project.
What is Android TV App?
As the name suggests, an Android TV app is downloaded and installed specifically on TVs running the Android operating system. These apps, which include voice input on the remote, are also compatible with Google Cast and Chromecast. Some can also connect with the Google Assistant.
TV apps form a separate category on Google Play. They are divided into several specific classes:
- Movie and TV streaming services: YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.
- Music streaming services: Spotify or Deezer, for example.
- Game applications: Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto, Final Fantasy… Many games have been optimized for Android TV.
- Media tools such as the player, file explorer, and other apps that make controlling the TV easier.
- Everyday applications: weather, culinary recipes, social networks …
Difference between building an Android TV app and a mobile app
Creating an Android TV app differs from a mobile app, especially in its support for these elements:
User interaction on Android TV is done with the keys of the remote control, whether accessing menus, browsing the store, downloading applications. Unlike the click or swipe used on a mobile terminal, the use of a remote control involves rethinking the application. This introduces additional complexity with respect to device integration and response time.
Since the application will be controlled remotely, interaction with the user remains simple. So the design has been made as simple as possible.
When creating an Android TV application, you need to take into account how the user moves between blocks with a 5-key remote. Whether it is for video playback applications, the use of the search function, the implementation of menus, carefully choose the navigation method in your application to satisfy your users.
The apps you build will not compete with others for hardware resources, but with other functions and functions built into the Android TV or box. These include middleware, operating system processes, and other things that consume memory, bandwidth, and more.
change of frame
Android TV provides a “leanback framework” for developing apps that run on your remote-controlled devices. You will need to consider physical differences and mental tendencies in user experience. In fact, when a person is in front of a television, they are usually sitting in relaxation mode. Everything should be fluid, simple and require as little thought as possible …
Plus, when building an Android TV app, there’s no need to deal with screen orientation changes or multiple layouts to adapt to all screens.
Why Build an Android TV App?
If we take into account Google Cast and Chromecast, Android TV represents 9% of the operating systems installed on smart TVs sold worldwide. It is also the platform that is becoming more and more successful. Watch time on these TVs increased by 42% in 2021.
The number one reason why you should have an Android TV app is its popularity. Smart TVs are the new technological devices appreciated by the consumers. He has revolutionized the world of television by presenting programs on demand.
Android TV also offers a library of over 5,000 apps and games. This is what sets this platform apart from its competitors. Since it is Android-based, your app has a better chance of reaching your target audience.
The operating system provides a rich user experience optimized for applications running on large-screen devices such as HDTVs.
Android TV apps use the same structure as those for phones and tablets. This approach means you can build your app based on what you already know. You can also customize your existing apps to work on these smart TVs.
In short, the creation process becomes easier with the Android TV app.
How to make Android TV App?
To create an Android TV application, there are 4 solutions available to you:
1. Customize Your Android Application
The Android app can be extended to work on TVs as well. If you already have a working app on Google Play, you’re 80% there. You just need to take into account television-related features to refine your application’s code.
Your Android TV application requires a special design to function. It includes, first of all, a landscape orientation and large interface elements. target? Let the user easily navigate the application from their couch.
Navigation in your app should work in conjunction with the D-pad and the Select button. For this, limit the clicks to a minimum and simplify the usage flow of the application.
If your TV app requires login, password and/or credit card details, consider using the Smart Lock and Autofill APIs offered by Google.
Also integrate automatic correction to prevent user from entering again due to typing error or spelling error. To make typing easier, add the Nearby Connections API. This will allow the viewer to use any other Android device to enter text on the Smart TV.
The latest Android TV box models are equipped with Google Assistant. So the user can launch applications, browse content or change screen settings using just his voice.
Your Android TV app will need to support voice control in order to provide the best experience for your users.
To capture users’ attention and keep them on your Android TV app for a long time, you need to integrate content recommendation.
The platform has a “Watch Next” or “Play Next” channel that appears right after the apps on the TV home screen. Your goal should be to get your app content there. To help you out, Google has published guidelines for you to follow.
If you want to monetize your Android app through advertising, ads should not require clicking on a website. Android TV does not have an internet browser. They should not redirect to Google Play content incompatible with the device. So if you sell ad inserts in your app, keep these parameters in mind…
2. Use the Tool to Build Your Android TV App
The easiest way to build an Android TV app is by using an OTT (over the top) solution. Especially if your project involves the distribution of video! Actually, an OTT platform allows you to stream video, music, live stream, messaging, VoIP…
In addition, these tools make it easy to customize your app while providing the backend with detailed data about your users. As you go, you’ll get to know your audience better in order to optimize your content.
Among the recognized OTT solutions for creating Android TV applications, we find:
uScreen allows you to deliver video on demand and broadcast live sessions to Android TV.
You don’t need any coding knowledge to develop your app. You simply choose the theme of your app according to your niche, and the tool takes care of the rest. Of course, you will be able to customize the interface, add the necessary functionalities to your graphic charter and your project.
During your live sessions, Uscreen allows viewers to post comments and respond to polls. Perfect for increasing engagement on your videos, generating leads and building customer loyalty.
The Uscreen plan starts at $79 per month.
A no-code tool, Muvi is aimed at both beginners and professionals. This solution promises to have your native Android TV application delivered to you in 24 hours. His specialty? You can make video app as audio.
Muvi also takes care of hosting your multimedia content. Its rates start at $399 per month.
Are you planning to build an Android TV app with lots of channels? Do you want to monetize your investments to make them profitable? Setplex is the ideal solution.
This platform provides a feature-rich dashboard to best optimize your application. You will also find several monetization methods, the possibility to integrate APIs, a CRM, real-time statistics…
Setplex rates are available upon request only.
3. Buy a ready-to-use template
How to make an Android TV app with limited budget and no development skills? Marketplaces such as Envato offer a selection of ready-to-use templates for prices ranging between $14 and $500.
This is a less expensive option, perfect if you don’t plan on customizing your app.
However, you will need to integrate the template with your system backend and make it compatible with Google Play guidelines. Even if you don’t have technical knowledge, it can be a real challenge.
4. Hire an Android Developer on Codeur.com
With this option, you retain control over the manufacturing process. Freelancer supports you, guides you and gives you his best advice for the success of your project. Moreover, it is perfectly adapted to your specifications to create a customized Android TV application suited to your purposes.
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