TV Apps Checklist

Users enjoy the TV app experience when it is consistent, logical, and predictable. They should be able to navigate within your app and throughout Android TV without getting lost or having to "reset" the UI and start over. Users appreciate clear, colorful, and functional interfaces that make the experience magical. With these ideas in mind, you can create an app that fits nicely in Android TV and performs as users expect.

This checklist covers the main aspects of development for both apps and games and provides guidelines to ensure that your app provides the best possible experience. Additional considerations for games only are covered in the Games section.

For criteria that qualify an Android TV app on Google Play, see TV App Quality.

TV Form Factor Support

These checklist items apply to Games and Apps.

User Interface Design

These checklist items apply to Games and Apps.

Search and Content Discovery

These checklist items apply to Games and Apps.

  • Provide search results from your app in the Android TV global search box.
  • Provide TV-specific data fields for search.
  • Make sure your app presents discovered content in a details screen that lets the user start watching the content immediately.

TV home screen

These checklist items apply to the layout and content of the home screen:

Channels

  • Each channel must have a meaningful name that represents the channel's content. Do not use your app's name as a channel name.
  • The channel name must not change unless there is some interaction with the user.
  • Each channel must have an associated icon. The icon does not need to be your app's exact icon; it could be a branded representation of the content in the channel.
  • Each channel must be unique and must not mimic the functionality of the Play Next row. For example, a channel that lets users continue watching where they left off in a video is not a valid use for a channel.

Content in Channels

  • Each program in a channel must have a single piece of content. A program must not contain a collection of videos.
  • A program must not be a promotional message or an ad.
  • A program must have a suitable description and its metadata must be mapped correctly. For example, the content rating must not appear where the title is expected.
  • Preview images representing the content must be be not cropped or stretched. They must fit one of the available aspect ratios.
  • A program must start playing as soon as the user selects it.

Play Next

  • Do not add content to the Play Next row unless the user has been interacting with it some way. For example, you can add the next episode in a series that the user is currently watching, but you must not add a related (but different) series when the user completes the current series.
  • The Play Next content must be traditional TV shows, movies, or events. Do not add clips to the Play Next row.

Games

These checklist items apply to Games.

  • Your game must appear in the games section of the home screen. Set the isGame flag in the manifest.
  • Make sure game controller support does not depend upon the Start, Select, or Menu buttons (not all controllers have these).
  • Use a generic gamepad graphic (without specific controller branding) to show game button mappings.
  • Check for both ethernet and WiFi connectivity.
  • Provide users with a clean way to exit your app.