5 tips to build Smart TV apps

5 tips to build Smart TV apps

BY Rishu Mehra 30 Jun 2020 Tizen .NET, Tizen Studio, Tizen

Smart TVs are now part of customers’ daily needs, just like other home appliances or electronics. Even the global smart TV market reached US$ 183.6 Billion in 2019. Samsung is one of the leaders in the smart TV market and Samsung always ensured the top-notch quality of smart TVs with crisp, clear, and high-resolution screens, over the years. Samsung was first to launch QLED 8K TV, which is considered as a breakthrough candidate for the ultra-premium smart TV segment. An interesting fact is that most of the Samsung Smart TVs run on Tizen that enables quick response and a clean user interface.

Smart TVs enable customers to plays games, stream movies, and check their social media from off-the-shelf. On the other hand, developers benefit from it by building apps for smart TVs. For Tizen based Samsung Smart TVs, developers can build apps with web languages (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript) or with .NET.

To develop a Tizen-based Samsung Smart TV app with:

  • HTML, CSS, and JavaScript you need:

    • Tizen Studio
    • Samsung Smart TV Extension
  • .NET you need:
    • Microsoft Visual Studio
    • .NET framework with Xamarin.forms
    • Visual Studio Tools for Tizen

While building apps for smart TVs, there are several considerations such as large screen form-factor, screen resolution and aspect ratio, using a TV with remote only, and much more. So these reasons show developing an app for smart TV profile is completely different from developing apps for wearable and mobile profiles.

For improved app response and good user experience following are the five tips that will help you build or design your smart TV apps better:

1 Focus:

Focus on Tizen based TV apps

On larger screens, when multiple components are there, locating the selected component could be hard. So use different styles of highlighting the selected component such as zooming, color change, and reflection. It will enhance the user experience.

2 Minimize Inputs and Screen Transitions:

Minimize inputs for end-user on TV apps

TVs are used through remote controls that have a limited amount of keys, so navigating from one screen to another should be minimal. TVs have large screens with high resolutions such as 8K, 4K, and Full-HD, so use the space wisely and provide relevant information on the same screen. It is recommended to avoid a lot of user input and screen transitions as too much remote clicking psychologically affect the users to leave or uninstall your application early.

3 Resolution and Typography:

On smart TVs, the view size of the application, image dimensions, and video resolution define the clarity of an application. Required resolution for the Samsung Smart TV application is 1920 x 1080 pixels for Ultra-HD screens and 1280x720 pixels for Full-HD screens. Even using images with different resolutions may cause image quality to distort. Use the recommended resolution of image and video files. Also, for consistency, it is recommended to use the same font style throughout the app. Samsung One UI is the font family recommended for Samsung Smart TVs, which is balanced and legible for different sizes and views.

4 Samsung IME:

Samsung IME keyboard

You can get user input using the on-screen keyboard. You can either create an on-screen keyboard or use the Samsung IME provided in the Samsung TV SDK. Using Samsung IME APIs, wherever you put a text-box or a text-area, the IME keyboard will automatically pop-up. Using the IME keyboard is easy, and it saves turnaround time to develop a keyboard for an app.

5 Follow UX Checklist:

UX checklist for Samsung Smart TV apps

The famous streaming apps available on Samsung Smart TVs such as Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, Amazon Prime Video, and many more are all developed for the Tizen platform. Interestingly, these apps are famous for having the best user experience also. That is because all these apps religiously follow the UX checklist of Samsung Smart TV. This UX checklist ensures a hassle-free user experience. So, make sure your app also does the same for the quick response and enhanced user experience.

So what are you waiting for download Tizen Studio now and get started with building web apps for Samsung Smart TVs. With the given tips, you will surely achieve a great user experience in your next smart TV app.

Written by Rishu Mehra