If you would like to contact us for a quote on bringing your Smart TV app to market email us or give us a call at (603) 881-9200.
In mid-May during Google’s annual developers conference, the company announced that Google TV would be updating to version 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. TV maker LG supported the announcement, saying that updates would start rolling out in Q3 2013. Since LG’s Google TVs are reportedly selling at 10,000 units per month in the US, this is certainly a platform Android app developers may want to at least consider.
If you have or are planning to create an Android app, this Google TV update will allow you to make your app available on this platform with only minor (in most cases) enhancements to your existing code.
Porting from An Existing App from Android to Google TV
Probably the most important factor to consider if you are interested in porting an existing app from Android to Google TV is that the Google TV does not have touchscreen capability. Google TV apps need to be controlled by the remote. There are also certain features that are available on mobile devices that are not available on the Smart TV, for example the gyroscope, which measures the orientation of phones and tablets and allows it sense motion. If your app relies on these features you can work with a developer to make the adjustments you’ll need to support Google TV in addition to the Android mobile market.
It’s possible that your app does not depend on Google TV unsupported features and already does not require full touchscreen capabilities. If that is the case, getting your app onto Google TV could be as simple as updating a setting to let Google know your app is universal and can be included in Google TV.
Creating a New App For Google TV
If you have a concept specific for Google TV you can submit it as a “Google TV-only” application. In this case there are guidelines you can follow to optimize the app for this particular market. In addition to LG’s televisions with Google TV built in, the market also includes set-top boxes from Netgear, Sony, Vizio, Hisense, and Asus that plug into any HDTV.
While bringing a new level of interactivity to television, the Smart TV exists in a so-called “10ft environment,” with a relatively large distance between the user and content. Because of this, considerations for the app should include relaxation and a “lean back experience.” Many television apps display pictures or video with sound; on this platform, apps with sound will thrive as users are expecting sound unlike a smartphone. A Smart TV is also a great platform for apps that should be shared with multiple users at once, since sharing information or entertainment can be difficult on a small smartphone.
Creating a New App For Both Google TV and Android Mobile Devices
The operating system update will put Google TV on the same playing field as the latest Android devices. With minimal extra cost (effort), a new Android app can be adapted for both mobile devices and Google TV – expanding your reach to a much wider audience than previously available. Creating an interface that looks equally polished on small or large screens can be considered from the start.
How to Get Started
Engaging users in their homes with a Google TV app can be a powerful way to capture new users in an up and coming platform. Consider making the jump by contacting a Zco representative and asking for a quote on our Google TV app development services!