Creating an Android TV application means reaching 110 million active users. A nice market for promoting your business and diversifying your sources of income.
However, building a TV app is different from development of an Android mobile application. In this article, we will look at the specifics of an Android TV application, as well as the tools and methods for building it.
If you want to develop your own Android TV application, please submit a project on Codeur.com to find an android developer able to realize your project.
What is an Android TV app?
As the name suggests, an Android TV app is downloaded and installed specifically on TVs running Android. These apps, which include voice input on remotes, are also compatible with Google Cast and Chromecast. Some can even integrate with Google Assistant.
TV apps form a separate category on Google Play. They are divided into several specific sections:
- 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 adapted for Android TV.
- Multimedia tools such as players, file explorers and other apps that make it easier to control the TV.
- Daily applications: weather, culinary recipes, social networks …
The differences between building an Android TV app and a mobile app
Creating an Android TV app differs from a mobile app, especially in supporting these elements:
User interaction on an Android TV is done with the remote control buttons, both to access the menu, browse the store, download applications. Unlike clicks or swipes used on a mobile terminal, using the remote control involves rethinking the application. This introduces further complexity with regards to device integration and reaction time.
Since the application will be controlled remotely, the interaction with the user remains simple. The design is therefore simplified as much as possible.
The user interface
When creating an Android TV application, it is necessary to take into account how the user moves between blocks with the 5-key remote control. Whether it is a video playing application, using the search function, implementing the menu, please carefully select the navigation method in your application to satisfy your users.
The apps you create will not compete with others for hardware resources, but with other activities and functions built into the Android TV or box. These include middleware, operating system processes, and other things that consume memory, bandwidth, and more.
A change of frame
Android TV provides the “Leanback Framework” for developing apps to run on its remote controlled devices. You will need to consider the physical differences and mental predispositions in the user experience. In fact, when a person is in front of the television, she is generally sitting, in relaxation mode. Everything should be smooth, simple and require as little thought possible …
Also, when building an Android TV app, you don’t need to manage screen orientation changes or multiple layouts to fit all screens.
Why create an Android TV app?
Android TV represents 9% operating systems installed on smart TVs sold all over the world if we take into account Google Cast and Chromecast. It is also the platform that is gaining more and more success. In 2021, the viewing time on these TVs increased by 42%.
The main reason you should make an Android TV app is its popularity. Smart TVs are the new technological features appreciated by consumers. They revolutionized the world of television by offering programs on demand.
Android TV also offers a library of beyond 5,000 apps and games. This is what sets this platform apart from its competitors. Since it is based on Android, your app has a better chance of reaching your target audience.
The operating system offers an enhanced user experience optimized for applications running on large-screen devices, such as high-definition televisions.
Android TV apps use the same structure as those for phones and tablets. This approach means that you can build your app based on what you already know. You can also adapt your existing app to work on these smart TVs.
In summary, the creation process turns out to be easier with an Android TV app.
How to create an Android TV app?
To create an Android TV application, there are 4 solutions:
1. Adapt your Android application
Android apps can be extended to work on televisions as well. If you already have a working app on Google Play, you’ve hit 80%. You just have to take into account the characteristics of a TV to perfect the code of your application.
Your Android TV application requires a special design to work. This involves, first of all, a horizontal orientation and large interface elements. The target. the goal? Allow the user to easily navigate the application from their sofa.
Navigation in the app should work with a combination of D-pads and a Select button. To do this, keep clicks to a minimum and simplify the flow of using the application.
If your TV app requires logins, passwords and / or credit card details, consider using the APIs Smart lock and auto fill offered by Google.
It also integrates automatic correction to prevent the user from re-entering due to a typo or spelling mistake. To make typing easier, add theClose connections API. It will allow the viewer to use another Android device to enter text on the smart TV.
The latest models of Android TV boxes come with the Google Assistant. The user can then launch the application, browse the contents or change the screen settings using only their voice.
Your Android TV app will need to support voice control to provide the best experience for your users.
To grab users’ attention and keep them on your Android TV app for a long time, you need to integrate content recommendations.
The platform has a “Watch Next” or “Play Next” channel that appears on the TV home screen, right after the apps. Your goal should be to get your app content there. To help you, Google has posted guidelines to follow.
If you want to monetize your Android app through advertising, the ads shouldn’t require a website click. Android TV does not have an internet browser. They must not redirect to content on Google Play that is incompatible with the device. So pay attention to these parameters if you sell advertising inserts in your app …
2. Use a tool to create your Android TV app
The easiest way to create an Android TV app is to use an OTT (Over The Top) solution. Especially if your project contains video distribution! In fact, an OTT platform allows you to provide services for streaming video, music, live streaming, messaging, VoIP …
Additionally, these tools make it easy to customize your app while providing a backend with detailed data about your users. You will get to know your audience better, in order to adapt your content as you go.
Among the OTT solutions recognized for creating an Android TV application, we find:
Usscreen It allows you to distribute video on demand and broadcast live sessions on Android TVs.
You don’t need any programming knowledge to develop your app. Simply choose your app theme, based on your niche, and the tool takes care of the rest. Of course, you can customize the interface, add your graphics card and essential features to your project.
During 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.
Outsreen plans start at $ 79 per month.
No code tools, Muvi suitable for both beginners and professionals. This solution promises to deliver your native Android TV application to you in 24 hours. Its peculiarity? You can create video apps as audio.
Muvi also takes care of hosting your multimedia content. Its rates start at $ 399 per month.
Are you planning to create an Android TV app with many channels? Do you want to monetize them to make your investment profitable? setplex is the ideal solution.
This platform offers a feature-rich dashboard to better customize your application. You will also find many monetization methods, the possibility of integrating APIs, a CRM, real-time statistics …
Setplex rates are available on request only.
3. Purchase a ready-to-use template
How to create an Android TV app with a limited budget and no development skills? Markets like Envato offer a selection of ready-to-use templates priced 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’s backend and adapt it to Google Play guidelines. If you have no technical knowledge, it can still be a real challenge.
4. Hire an Android developer at Codeur.com
With this option, you keep control over the creation process. The freelancer accompanies you, guides you and offers you his best advice for the success of your project. Plus, it fully adapts to your specifications to create a bespoke Android TV application that suits your goals.
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