Android TV App Development

The Android TV platform is poised to standardize the living room’s operating system choices, becoming the de facto software option for television manufacturers, set-top box makers, and gaming console OEMs alike. Android TV represents an enormous opportunity for brand marketers to access and engage with their audiences in their homes, delivering the full power of the Android ecosystem in an all-new form factor. From day one, Android TV has been intended to give third-party Android app developers the tools necessary to build world-class Android app experiences that showcase the largest screen in the home. And alongside the Android operating system for smartphones and tablets, Android Wear for smartwatches, and Android Auto for the car, Android TV has become a pillar of Google’s multi-platform approach to bring amazing Android app experiences to every part of users’ lives.

If it’s on, it’s on Android TV.

When Android users are in the home, their needs and intentions differ from when they’re using Android apps on their smartphone on the go. Whereas an Android mobile user might only have a few seconds to complete an interaction or engage with an Android native app, and while an Android Wear user might only glance at their wrist for a moment periodically throughout their days, Android TV users are much more likely to be continuously engaged with content and experiences for significantly longer usage sessions—often measured in the tens of minutes or hours.

For this reason, the kinds of experiences offered by Android TV app developers need to speak to this heightened level of engagement and immersion. Whether building a video content streaming Android app or an Android TV game—two of the first categories to truly flourish on the platform—or something new and different altogether, Android app developers need to bring strategic thinking to their Android TV app content architectures to offer the kind of deep and rich experiences that Android TV customers demand.

Designing Android apps for the big screen.

Android phones are meant for users to hold in their hands. Android Wear smartwatches are on the wrist. Android TV, however, is different in the sense that users experience its apps and content from across the room, engaging with a large display that’s often 10 feet away from their faces. Therefore, Android app experiences designed for Android TV need to be optimized for their small relative perceived size, boosting the size of text and imagery in the interface to accommodate for the increased distance and limited interactivity from Android TV device remotes.

Android TV app developers need to optimize their interfaces for users on their couches.

Further, the best Android TV app developers recognize that users aren’t able to interact with their displays directly, as they would with their fingertips on an Android smartphone or tablet app. Instead, Android TV app developers need to plan for users to interact with their interfaces indirectly using a remote, a remote which—given the diversity of Android TV set-top box manufacturers—might have widely different capabilities and button layouts depending on the hardware maker. Beyond physical input methods, Android TV app developers need to consider their content organization and hierarchy to be flatter and simpler to be more conducive to remote-oriented navigation, to minimize the number of clicks and swipes separating Android TV app users from their content.

Tune into what’s next.

Learn more about Punchkick’s unique approach to native Android app development and other native development platforms with the following pages.

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