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Television and broadcasting were on top of the entertainment charts during the last few decades. With the rise of the Internet, its popularity slightly decreased; however, it was not replaced completely. They evolved, resulting in smart TV application development generation, which attracts users with wide functionality and intuitive interface.
Smart TV application development unlocks multiple entertainment options: streaming videos, playing games, surfing social networks, remotely controlling and managing all your systems across compatible devices using a single application.
Besides, new business branches, such as iOS/Android TV app market, specific platforms, television oriented developing, emerge. Thus, an enterprise in this highly developing field represents a nice investment right now.
In this post, OpenGeeksLab is going to showcase influential factors to create smart TV app. What’s more, we will provide a step-by-step guide to Android TV app development illustrated with our own example of a platform for people of faith.
According to researchers, the amount of time spent while watching TV daily remained relatively unaltered since 2011. Such services have acquired a stable position so far around the world as they quickly adapt to niche tendencies. Currently, consumers gravitate towards a new generation of smart TVs that offer even more stunning picture quality, user convenience, expanded functional scope.
As it goes in the study, in 2018 smart TVs constituted 70 percent of all the television units sold worldwide, so this phenomenon contributes to business enlargement. The revenue got out of smart TV application development in 2015 constituted around 30 billion dollars and it is expected to grow to around 67 billion in 2025.
However, video streaming services make profit not only in the entertainment field but give additional benefits to other business branches. ‘Big screen’ opportunities can be implemented in various spheres of business running, e.g. advertisement broadcasting, keeping customers informed about important services, managing workers/clients (electronic queues, tasks management, etc.).
Now let’s take a look at renowned players in the smart TV application development market.
Today’s smart TV app niche gives multiple platforms to run TV apps provided in almost equal shares on a massive scale. We can point out the four most famous smart TV app representatives.
Apple TV becomes beneficial when a customer already has other Apple services, especially iTunes because no other platform is compatible with iTunes services. Despite Apple’s platform does not offer 4K quality, it provides Siri support and incorporates gesture feature. Apple TV subscription costs $149.
This smart TV app is one of the most popular platforms not only in terms of mobile market but for television as well. Users love it because of its low prices (it is considered cheaper than other variants with a middle fare of about $60) and varied program stock. Android TV box applications offer a myriad of options within the Play Store, so consumers can browse applications for Android TV to their liking and get a breathtaking experience.
Even more, since Android TV code is open source, software engineers, knowing how to write an Android TV app, can build and customize their own application for Android TV. One more advantage is the elaborated updating system, so if you buy Android 9 for TV, you will get new versions without buying them separately just like with smartphones.
Roku Streaming Stick service suggests a wide range of applications and channels. This smart TV app provides clients with widely-known streams as well as with specific channels only for $50. The main benefit of Rocky is that customers do not necessarily need to buy a new TV-set. Thus, if users are okay with the screen they already own, they can simply purchase a separate media player and enjoy watching Smart TV.
Besides providing smart television services, Amazon Fire platform can act as a console to play games. It supports 4K quality and offers several Alexa functions. The standard package costs $90, but there are options.
Other influential companies include Samsung Risen, LG, Panasonic, Smart Alliance, Google Chromecast, and more.
As you can see, the market offers a huge choice for smart TV app development. It’s up to you which platform to pick.
Now that we’ve figured out the key niche players, let’s dive into major points that you should keep in mind if you are about to start smart TV application development.
Before jumping into smart TV app development, you should explore the core niche KPIs. To make things right, you should consider the tech environment, screen size/distance, navigation issues, remote control, and profound testing.
Smart TV application development differs from usual mobile building due to goal peculiarities. To make an efficient final product, specific skills concerning program architecture and design issues are required. These may include platform SDK knowledge, profound software architecture understanding, practical experience in HTML, CSS and Java.
The key difference between mobile and television app development lies in screen size and perception distance. While watching television, high-quality resolution is crucial for a user’s positive experience. Besides, developers should care about angular resolution, dealing with individual ability to detect minor details in the picture. Thus, great emphasis is laid upon design peculiarities and objects’ commensurability.
Despite ‘big screen’, the question of easy-to-use navigation remains relevant. Complex structure and multiple subcategories usually confuse users wanting simple relaxation. Therefore, transparency of functional content determines a device’s performance and productivity.
Commensurability issues also are connected to navigation problems. Readable text, short apt phrases, suitable icons, contrastive but not distracting background, catchy design—all these minor details should be considered while Apple/Android TV application development.
Remote control issues also influence customer’s seamless intuitive usage. Opportunity to get exactly what you want with little effort is very important, thus various platforms look for better solutions capable of replacing traditional remote control devices. For instance, Amazon Fire TV employs voice input function, while Apple TV aims at touch sensor integration.
Proper testing procedure is essential before rolling out your final product. This step is applied to optimize the program and to adjust it to end-users convenience. Software engineers should not only ensure a seamless, intuitive user experience but also consider streaming and performance issues.
After you have profoundly analyzed all the above factors, you can launch smart TV app development. Below, we will unlock all the peculiarities of you about smart TV app development workflow, illustrating our own example.
Let’s dive into a step-by-step guide to iOS & Android TV app development.
Our client came to us with the idea of technology and religion unification, which were usually seen as antagonistic phenomena. However, he firmly believed that technological achievements should help people of faith, so that was a premise to Experience Jesus, which is a video streaming app for people of faith.
Our team aimed at creating the application serving as a tool for believers who due to some personal reasons (age, health, location) cannot be present at important events in-person. Thus, we needed to design an easy-to-use project covering various devices (mobile & television segments), most popular platforms (iOS & Android) as well as ensuring objective implementation.
Our product is compatible both with mobile and television platforms (Android & iOS) with a few functionality differences, thus to get access to application on TV-set you insert your account data and enjoy favorite content on a big screen.
While developing the program we applied following functionality:
The app is available for non-registered users, though there are some restrictions in functionality. To get access to the full scope of options at hand, a user must create an account and log in, filling in name, email address, and password.
Live streaming feature allows users enjoy watching favorite videos being on the way or having other occupations simultaneously.
This option allows people to watch long videos, splitting them into several shorter parts. Users can track the stream they watched and continue their session whenever they want. What’s more, consumers can watch the same videos both on the phone and in full-screen mode.
The program offers potentially interesting information based on preferences and data analytics.
Besides streaming videos, users can examine religious literature within an app. Also, they can add cards, bookmarks, daily prayers, and other useful info to packs. All this helps people quickly browse and find certain materials in a matter of seconds.
Users can divide the informational scope into learned or unlearned categories to structure and manage it easily.
It was our first experience creating a smart TV app, so our team treated the project like an exciting experience. The most challenging was designing a video player from scratch, considering the differences between mobile and television versions. Video format also differed a lot. Besides, focusing, fields, button issues usually are minor in mobile developing, so we developed specific buttons (e.g. slider, pause, stop, transitions, etc.). ‘Big screen’ issues were settled due to video scalability and autofill feature to make the picture precise.
Three experts (two developers and one project manager) worked on rolling out the project. We built Experience Jesus with React Native. It took us five months to create and customize this product for the four major platforms.
The application is freely downloadable and easy-to-use. It offers clear structure and functionality, so there are no age or other usage limits. Experience Jesus is accessible barely in English for British and American audiences so far. However, our customer soon plans to make his product available to believers from all over the world.
As you can see, smart TV application development shows no signs of slowing down. On the contrary, researchers predict a great leap of ‘big screen.’ Although major players hold leading positions, you can always jump into creating a smart TV app and conquer the niche. Contact us without any hesitation. We help you create smart TV app that will take off.
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