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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.

  1. Identify the main TV activity with the CATEGORY_LEANBACK_LAUNCHER filter in the manifest.

    See Declare a TV Activity.

  2. Provide a home screen banner for each language supported by your app
    • Launcher app banner measures 320x180 px
    • Banner resource is located in the drawables/xhdpi directory
    • Banner image includes localized text to identify the app.

    See Provide a home screen banner.

  3. Eliminate requirements for unsupported hardware in your app.

    See Declaring hardware requirements for TV.

  4. Ensure permissions do not imply hardware requirements

    See Declaring permissions that imply hardware features.

User Interface Design

These checklist items apply to Games and Apps.

  1. Provide appropriate layout resources for landscape mode.

    See Build Basic TV Layouts.

  2. Ensure that text and controls are large enough to be visible from a distance.

    See Build Useable Text and Controls.

  3. Provide high-resolution bitmaps and icons for HDTV screens.

    See Manage Layout Resources for TV.

  4. Make sure your icons and logo conform to Android TV specifications.

    See Manage Layout Resources for TV.

  5. Allow for overscan in your layout.

    See Overscan.

  6. Make every UI element work with both D-pad and game controllers.

    See Creating Navigation and Handling Controllers.

  7. Change the background image as users browse through content.

    See Update the Background.

  8. Customize the background color to match your branding in Leanback fragments.

    See Customize the Card View.

  9. Ensure that your UI does not require a touch screen.

    See Touch screen and Declare touch screen not required.

  10. Follow guidelines for effective advertising.

    See Provide Effective Advertising.

  11. Use the Leanback library for guiding the user through a series of decisions.

    See Adding a Guided Step.

Search and Content Discovery

These checklist items apply to Games and Apps.

  1. Provide search results from your app in the Android TV global search box.

    See Provide Data.

  2. Provide TV-specific data fields for search.

    See Identify Columns.

  3. Make sure your app presents discovered content in a details screen that lets the user start watching the content immediately.

    See Display Your App in the Details Screen.

  4. Put relevant, actionable content and categories on the main screen, making it easy to discover content.

    See Recommending TV Content.

Games

These checklist items apply to Games.

  1. Show your game on the home screen with the isGame flag in the manifest.

    See Show your game on the home screen.

  2. Make sure game controller support does not depend upon the Start, Select, or Menu buttons (not all controllers have these).

    See Input Devices.

  3. Use a generic gamepad graphic (without specific controller branding) to show game button mappings.

    See Show controller instructions.

  4. Check for both ethernet and WiFi connectivity.

    See Networking.

  5. Provide users with a clean exit.

    See Exit.

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