Mobile Technology

What we learnt from developing for Apple TV

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You may know Apple TV as that Apple product that was around in 2007 that really never took off. However, the Apple TV of then is a very different story to now.

I was lucky enough to be there in person at the recent Apple Tech Talk in London (thanks to Apple’s raffle draw – cheers guys!) where Apple TV was discussed in length. If you’re interested in hearing all the details, these Tech Talks were recorded and are available online as of today.

The main difference between the Apple TV that you probably remember and the 4th Generation Apple TV  is that it’s own App Store and SDK. Not only does this vastly improve the usability of Apple TV by allowing audiences to easily connect to streaming services such as; Netflix, and Now TV.  It means you can now access a huge variety of applications.

Good examples of apps that work well with Apple TV are things like fitness apps or activities that have multiple users like Quizzes or Karaoke. Now you can work out more easily in your living room without having to awkwardly move your iPhone around with you (or have it strapped to your arm) and can have multiple friends singing along using the Smule karaoke app. It also means developers like us can create their own apps to run on the platform.

When the Apple Watch was released, we started developing for it straight away. Not only did we want to ensure we were up to date developing for the latest software, we were intrigued as to what the Apple watch might mean for location-related apps.  So we had some fun making the world’s first cat viewing app which was, *cough*, among the first EVER round of apps to be available for Apple Watch. *cough*   

When it was announced that developers could create apps for Apple TV, we thought it only right to carry on the legacy and make ‘Cat Viewer’ the Apple TV version. So when I was back in Bristol I started developing. Below are some observations I made while developing for Apple TV.

This has just been a bit fun for us to learn, and hopefully, help you if you’re thinking of developing for Apple TV. We don’t have any plans to officially release ‘Cat Viewer’ for Apple TV. If you’re deeply disappointed by this news and was looking forward to having 24-hour cats populating your TV screens, then feel free to email us with your concerns and maybe we’ll consider releasing it. Until then, we put together this little demonstrater video below showing the app. You can also find out more on our Github.