Why You Should Develop an Apple TV App In 2022

By Bobby Gill on February 8, 2022

As the Covid-19 pandemic comes to an end, many people are still stuck with their quarantine habits. One of these habits is consuming content through their phones, and streaming devices such as Apple TV. This is likely the reason why Apple TV sales have surged within the past year, prompting Apple to release new hardware for Apple TV altogether.

This demand for physical Apple TV devices also carries over into the demand for Apple TV applications. With so many new users, the demand for Apple TV apps has skyrocketed as well.

However, many people still do not understand their purpose, better yet, many developers are unsure of how they can create their own tv app or Apple TV apps. In this article, developers will learn how to leverage the underserved Apple TV market to create successful tv apps. 

To learn more about the Apple TV technical specs visit apple.com.

 

What Are Apple TV Apps?

Apple TV apps are applications that are built and optimized for the Apple TV. They enhance the functionality of Apple TV to help provide a better customer experience for users. Apple TV apps also help companies to make their platforms more accessible to users. For example, companies such as Netflix and Hulu both have deployed Apple TV applications. Which makes their platforms easily accessible to Apple TV users. 

Apple TV apps can be imagined as applications that possess the same functionality as iPhone and iPad apps. Except they live on the Apple TV system, rather than other Apple products. It is worth noting that Apple TV apps are only compatible with Apple TV products, and your application cannot be easily transferred to other TV accessories. 

 

What Kind of Apple TV Apps Can Be Created?

While the most common applications developed for Apple TV are for streaming services, Apple TV apps provide a slew of powerful features. Since Apple TV apps can be imagined as having the same functionality as regular iOS apps. It is quite easy to understand the potential use cases of Apple TV applications. The most popular apps on the Apple TV app store are Peacock TV, HBO Max, and Netflix. This clearly indicates that although the entertainment niche may be saturated, other types of Apple TV apps could be a blue ocean opportunity for developers.

To view the top-ranked Apple TV applications visit appfigures.com

  Image via appfigures.com

How Are Apple TV Apps Created?

The easiest way to build an Apple TV app is by using Swift and SwiftUI in Apple’s native development environment, Xcode. Xcode is available on the MacOS app store, completely free of charge. When developing an application in Xcode, developers should opt for SwiftUI over UIKit if possible. This is due to the fact that UIKit will likely be deprecated in the future. Which could restrict your UIKit application from additional functionality. 

To learn more about Xcode please visit developer.apple.com.

While many Xcode developers are familiar with how to create iOS and iPadOS applications. Most developers fail to realize that creating an Apple TV app is fundamentally the exact same process as regular iOS development. In fact, Apple TV applications could be even easier to develop since you don’t need to test them on as many systems. 

 

How to Build The Best Apple TV Apps

To get started with building a powerful Apple TV app you will need to make sure you have a MacOS device. Preferably a device that is capable of running the latest version of Xcode (13.2.1). After ensuring that you have all the tools needed to create an Apple TV app, you can begin planning and building the project.  

Being an Apple TV developer, there are a few things to keep in mind when building out the user interface for your Apple TV app. First off, be sure that you have an initial layout plan for your user interface before moving forward. User interfaces should always be intuitively designed, so that they can easily facilitate meaningful interactions with users. For example, using symbols that are commonly associated with certain actions such as a heart-shaped button being used to favorite a show. If you are an Apple TV developer, Apple has provided an entire library of symbols for developers to use, it is called SF Symbols and can be downloaded for free. 

To download SF symbols please visit https://developer.apple.com/sf-symbols/.

Additionally, when designing a user interface for Apple TV software, developers should always keep simplicity in mind. If your application is intimidating to casual users, they will likely opt for other applications over your own. To avoid this, hide unnecessary buttons that only appear when needed. Also, utilize the Apple TV remote to toggle certain actions within your application.

 

What Features Can an Apple TV App Have?

Best Apple TV applications can have a variety of features, depending on the problems you are trying to solve. In fact, many of the same features available in iOS apps are also available in the best Apple TV applications. Apple TV applications can call on 3rd party APIs, and even connect to smart home devices.

Rather than defining all of the features an Apple TV app can have, it’s easier to imagine the Apple TV as an extension of other Apple devices. The newest Apple TV system houses an A12 Bionic chip, which provides a significant boost in graphics. The A12 Bionic chip enables your application to render 4K video seamlessly. This enables Apple TV applications to offer an enhanced streaming and video playback experience. 

Image via idropnews.com

 

How to Get Started Creating Best Apple TV Apps (As a Developer)

To get started as an Apple tv developer, there are a few tools you must have. First off, you need a system capable of running Xcode (preferably Xcode 13), in addition to an existing knowledge base of the Swift programming language. Many Apple TV applications will also require that you are capable of working with 3rd party APIs. As long as developers have existing experience with Swift, building an Apple TV app should be relatively straightforward. 

When working on an Apple TV app development with a team, it can be helpful to use project management tools. This will allow your team to stay on the same page and understand what needs to be completed. Some of the most common project management/collaboration tools are Jira and Slack.

 

The Future of Apple TV Apps 

Apple has clearly indicated their intentions of ramping up the Apple TV’s functionality, especially with their newest release of Apple TV 4K. In the future, developers can expect the Apple TV to be an excellent platform to develop applications for. While the market for iOS and iPadOS apps is very saturated, the market for Apple TV app development is not as crowded. Whether you are a new Apple TV developer or a seasoned professional. The future of Apple TV is bright, and creating powerful and best Apple TV apps could generate fruitful rewards.

Image via cnn.com

Perhaps in the future, the Apple TV system will evolve to become an entertainment hub. Hosting a variety of both games and streaming services, in fact, many iOS games such as Crossy Road and Alto’s Adventure have been optimized for the Apple TV already. This could present yet another untapped opportunity for developers to take advantage of.

 

Final Thoughts

Both seasoned developers and complete rookies should approach Apple TV development the exact same way as any other project. Sticking to the fundamentals such as maintaining a simplistic, yet intuitive UI and utilizing all of the available features of the Apple TV, will help create a powerful application that users enjoy using. 

It is also worth mentioning that being an Apple tv developer, you should ensure that the application does not contradict Apple’s guidelines. This can ensure you do not waste time or money developing an application that is rejected by Apple. To learn more about Apple’s guidelines for Apple TV applications, click here.

Blue Label Labs Is Hiring

We are looking for exceptional people to join our exceptional team and build great things together.

See Our Current Open Positions