Are you a non-techie wondering how to create an Android TV app? Then, this blog is for you!
In 2023, Android TV is one of the most well-known smart TV OS in the market. And this growth is propelled by the growth of smart TVs and Video Streaming platforms. In recent statistics released by Statista, revenue generated through OTT videos (i.e. the content of video streaming platforms) is set to overtake the revenue generated through conventional TV shows by 2027, and that too by large numbers.
This clearly shows how lucrative the Android TV market is, especially when it comes to having an Android TV application interface for your global OTT platform.
But developing an Android TV app sometimes becomes tricky due to a completely unique set of must-have features, challenges with backend integration, and demand for enhanced control. Also, developing an Android TV app from scratch is a very time-taking process, and often requires multiple technical infrastructures like CDN, DRM, and more!
In this blog, we are going to discuss the steps by which you can easily create your own Android TV app, without writing a single line of code! But before that, let’s have a quick discussion of what is an Android TV App, why you should develop it, and what are challenges you might face. So, let’s begin!
What is an Android TV App?
Before we tell you how you can build an Android TV app, you must know what an Android TV app is!
So, an Android TV app is basically an application that you can download to your smart TV that runs on Android TV OS. These apps offer both VOD and live content and are spread across all content genres including live sports, news, movies and entertainment, and more!
Some of the popular Android TV Apps include:
Why Should You Develop An Android TV App?
According to recently released statistics, around 9% of global smart TV users have Android TV in their homes. Most of the leading smart TV manufacturers including Sony, Phillips, Sharp, and Hisense use Android as the standard OS in their TVs.
Not only this, Android TV users are known for spending handsome amounts on Google Play Store purchases! In fact, in the 3rd Quarter of 2021, this section of audiences spent a whopping $12.1 billion only on app store purchases.
And in 2022, Google announced that Android TV now has over 10000 apps in the play store. Thus, this number has grown quite fast, from around 7000 in 2020.
So, if you do not build an Android TV app now, you will lose out on a large section of valued consumers, and give an edge to your competitors. What are you waiting for? Sign-up with MUVI One today!
What is a Good TV App for Android
A good Android TV app should have a user-friendly interface so that the users can easily use it. There are some more features that are extremely important for a good Android TV app. Let’s take you through them one by one.
Easy Sign-In and Navigation
The password-based conventional sign-in process becomes a bit tricky when it comes to Android TV apps. It is because more often than not, we set the password on the mobile version of the application, and to protect it from hacking, we add special characters, numbers, and symbols to it. But when it comes to typing the same password on the TV app, it becomes a headache.
Using the TV remote, we stumble while putting the right symbols in place, and struggle to delete the letters if any mistake is there in the password. Why give so much stress to your viewers right at the start?
Try innovative sign-in processes like code-based sign-in. Many OTT Platforms including Muvi allow your viewers to sign in through a small code appearing on their TV screens. They need to enter the same code on their mobile apps to log in to the Android TV app.
Similarly, navigation should also be eased out for TV app users. We must remember that on mobile phones, we simply scroll through our touch screens to navigate, which is not possible in TV apps. That is why the best Android TV apps have a dedicated navigation mechanism in place, which can be easily done through remote control.
Your video and audio content must be accessible to people with disabilities. That is why your TV app content must have subtitles, captions, and audio descriptions.
Also, the contrast of the colors used in the app must be good enough, so that it doesn’t give stress to the eyes. The best Android TV streaming apps usually have light fonts over dark backgrounds.
The UI of your app must be user-friendly. Technically it means, that whenever a new user comes to your app for the first time, he should be able to perform all the actions on his own with ease. Hence, you can add instructions and help articles to help your new users. Your main motive should be to design a UI that can be easily understood and used by all your users.
Android has recommended certain UI rules to help you out in this process:
The primary layout of your TV application must always be in landscape mode.
Your home screen must contain content recommendations, a search bar, and access to other functionalities of the app, including settings.
There must be an onscreen navigation control on either the left or right side of the screen. It will save vertical space for content display.
While designing the UI, you should prefer using Grid View instead of List View. It will help you make better use of the horizontal space of the app.
You should ensure that all your view widgets are large enough to be visible from a distance of 10 feet from the screen.
So, if you want to build a good Android TV app, you must give emphasis to these features.
Challenges in Developing an Android TV App
Developing any smart TV app is full of challenges, and the Android TV app is no exception. Especially because Android TV apps are relatively new forms of applications, building them from scratch demands deep research and thorough planning.
Here we have listed some of the most prominent challenges that one can face while developing an Android TV app.
Lack of Skilled Resources
Google launched Android TVs in 2014, and Android TV Apps came much later. Thus, as the technology itself is relatively new, there’s an obvious lack of experienced and skilled Android TV developers. And due to the lack of skilled developers, many times you might face unintentional bugs in your Android TV app. Also, repeated correction makes the apps glitchy and increases the app development time period.
Expensive to Hire or Outsource to Freelancers
If you don’t want to hire a full-time developer, you can go for a freelancer too! But make sure that the guy you are hiring is experienced enough.
Though this process looks a bit lucrative and has a lot of flexibility, at times, it might be slightly above your budget. In fact, if you are looking for a well-experienced developer, then you will have to spare a good number of bucks for the same.
According to recent trends in freelance markets, the average rate of a basic freelance Android developer is around $15 per hour, and it grows with experience and more diverse skill sets. An Android developer with experience of around 5 years and additional skillsets like UI and UX designing will charge around $45 to 50 per hour, or sometimes even more!
Moreover, a lone freelance developer will take a lot of time to develop the app, sometimes even up to 6 months, depending on the complexity of the app’s features. So, it will push back the date of release of your app, and prevent you from capitalizing on market trends.
Development Companies Charge Loads of Bucks, Trouble With Source Code
Collaborating with development companies should appear to be a reasonable option at first. But, in some time you will realize that this option has a lot of loopholes. The services-providing companies will do everything in their hand to provide you with a fully customized application, but you will have to pay a heavy price for it.
Also, many times it has been observed that software development companies demand additional payments for giving you the rights to YOUR source code. And until and unless you purchase the rights to source code, you don’t know whether your source code is being reused or not. Also, you can’t do any modifications to it if required, every time, you need to go back to the same development company.
It’s like surrendering all rights for your own platform to a third-party entity.
In the past, there have been cases where the development companies kept reusing the source code of those customers who did not pay them the price for purchasing the code. This led to serious copyright issues for the customers.
Fragmentation Makes App Maintainance On Multiple Devices Difficult
While developing an Android TV app, or any app for that matter, you must be careful about fragmentation. So, what exactly is Android TV App Fragmentation? In simple words, it is the difference in the Android OS of different devices that arises due to upgrades.
When a new device is brought by the user, it has the pre-loaded version of the Android OS. But with time, the device keeps getting software updates. While some users do the updates on time, others tend to avoid them due to waste of time. As a result, after some time, even the same types of Android devices run on different versions of the OS. This might lead to unnecessary issues with the App.
In order to crackle this situation, you should keep maintaining the apps for at least some of the previous OS versions. It will help you support those users who have not yet updated their devices. But, with time, this cumulative maintenance and support cost may go up rapidly. Thus, rushing to outsourced developers and development agencies every time will not help.
3 Ways to Develop an Android TV App (for non-techies)
If you are not a techie or don’t want to code yourself, you can still develop an Android TV app. In that case, you will have to choose from one of the following options:
Hire either a freelancer or a full-time developer.
Outsource your project to a third-party development firm.
Use a no-code platform to develop the app yourself, without coding!
We have already discussed the first two options in our challenges. Now, let’s talk about the third option.
Use a No-Code Platform
First of all, what is a no-code platform? A no-code app builder is a platform where you can develop your app without writing a single line of code. This means, you literally do not need any technical knowledge to develop your app through these platforms.
Now coming to no-code app builders for video streaming platforms. There are many white-labeled video streaming platform builders in the market, but Muvi One is definitely one of the best. That is why we are now the highest-rated OTT platform in G2!
At Muvi One, you can create and launch your own white-label Android TV App without writing a single line of code, and without the need to hire any app development expert! And you get a complete and well-structured Android TV app with a bucket full of features.
Some of the core features that Muvi One will provide you in your Android TV App are:
DRM: We are committed to keeping your app content secured with Digital Rights Management (DRM). That is why we have a Global Content Delivery Network with DRM and Screen Recording Protection.
Monetization: As stated earlier, we provide multiple monetization models, starting from subscriptions to advertisements, pay-per-view, and even coupons.
Auto-Play Next: Your viewers don’t need to click the play button frequently, as all the videos in the series will be auto-played one after the other.
Restrict Devices: You can decide how many devices your viewers can use to access their accounts at the same time.
Watchlists and Favourites: Your viewers can create watchlists and mark videos as favorites.
Kids Mode: Your viewers can enable the kid’s mode in the Android TV app.
How to Create Android TV App in 5 Simple Steps
If you are building your Android TV app using Muvi One, you can do it in five simple steps. Let’s take a look at these steps.
Step 1 – Sign Up
First, you need to sign up with Muvi One. So, go to muvi.com and click on the “Free Trial” button at the top right corner of the screen.
After clicking on the free trial button, you will be taken to the Sign Up page of Muvi One. Fill out the sign-up form and complete the sign-up process.
Step 2 – Login To The CMS Dashboard
Once your Muvi One account is successfully activated, log in to your CMS dashboard using the ID and password.
Step 3 – Add Content
Now it’s time to add some content. To add content, go to the “Content Library” under the “Content Management” section in your CMS dashboard. Then, click on “Add Content” in the right top corner.
The content form will appear on the next page. In that form, you need to add the name and description of your content and upload your content.
Step 4 – Choose an App and Customize Its Design
It’s now time to choose the app that you want to build. So, go to the “Apps” section in your CMS, and select and activate the Android TV App from “TV Apps”.
Once the Android TV app gets activated in your account, you can now design its front end. To do so, you need to choose a design template for your TV app. So, go to “App Templates” under the “Apps” section and choose the Android TV template that you like the most.
Once the template is selected. You can customize the template using VD. You just need to click on the “Customize” button appearing below this template to enter VD.
Once the design is complete, save and publish the changes in the template.
Step 5 – Submit the “Try Your App” Request Form
Go to the “Try Your App” section under “Apps”, and switch to “Android TV”.
An App Application form will appear. Fill out that form and submit the request.
Get Your Android TV App in 5 Mins
Once you submit the form, just sit back and relax, while we build your app! You should get the app APK file in your mailbox within just 5 mins!
Why Should You Choose Muvi One for Creating Android TV App?
Now you might be wondering why you should choose Muvi One for developing your Android TV App. Well, there are multiple reasons that will make Muvi One your favorite OTT app provider.
No Code Platform
Firstly, MUVI is a completely no-code platform. Hence, you don’t need to write a single line of code. You just need to sign up, decide the layout, add content, and let us develop the app for you.
Deploy across Website and 16+ App ecosystem
Along with the wide range of Android TV features, Muvi also provides you with a bunch of platforms to stream your content across multiple devices.
With Muvi One, you don’t need to stop only with an Android TV app. Expand your business horizons by developing your own Apple TV Remote App, Mobile App, Xbox App, and more! All these come in addition to a fully functional OTT website.
Video/Audio as well as On-Demand and Live Streaming – all formats supported
MUVI is a unique platform that supports all forms of media content. It means you can use the same platform to develop a NetFlix-like VOD platform, an audio-streaming platform like Spotify, and a live-streaming platform to broadcast live news, sports, and events! That is why we say, MUVI gives you multiple benefits on a single platform!
Regular Updates, New Features Added Monthly, and Maintenance Included
Tackle the menace of fragmentation with regular app updates! Also, our development team keeps on adding new features every month, which helps you to keep up with the changing trends in the industry.
And the best part is, you don’t need to worry about the maintenance of your application. That will be taken care of by MUVI! Isn’t it a great time saver?
If you decide to develop your own Android TV app from scratch, then you will also have to arrange for your own CDN, Payment Gateways, Ad Servers, and many more infrastructure components. It will not only be costly but frustrating too!
But with Muvi One, you just need to sit back and relax! We will arrange the entire infrastructure for you, including CDN, Payment Gateways, Ad Servers, templates, DRM, and more!
24x7x365 Support Team Available
Our support team is online 24x7x365 to answer all your queries and help you out whenever you get stuck. You can connect with our support team by clicking on this link. In addition to the support team, you can also reach out to us through a contact form anytime you want.
No Revenue Sharing, Direct Transfer of profits to your Bank Account
At Muvi One, we believe that all your profits are only yours! That is why we do not have any mechanism for revenue sharing. Whatever your earned revenue, we transfer the entire amount directly to your bank account.
OWN your own Brand, Content, Users, Revenue, and IP
At Muvi One, we provide 100% white-label solutions to our customers. It means that you will be the 100% complete owner of your brand, content, users, revenue, IP, and all the other platform-related aspect. We will never interfere in the operation of your platform or try to have ownership of your content.
Over the years, we have been loved by our customers. Hear it out from some of our customers.
Cost of Developing Your Android TV App
If you build your Android TV app using Muvi One, you will have to pay only $299 for one app over your normal Muvi One subscription cost. Also, if it is the only app you are building, then it might even get included in your subscription charges itself.
And at such a low price, you will get everything out of the box. Hence, you will save a good number of bucks this way.
To Sum Up
For any content creator and streaming business owner, developing an Android TV App is important because of its widespread popularity. If you are looking to create your own Android TV app, and don’t want to hire any IT team or developers, then you must choose a good no-code app builder like Muvi One!
With 100+ industry-leading features and a special focus on 100% secured ultra-low latency streaming, Muvi One is currently the best no-code app builder for Android TV apps. So, don’t wait any longer! Sign up to start your 14-day free trial today! No credit cards are required!
Can I create an Android TV app by myself?
Yes, you can create your own Android TV app by yourself (means without any team or help from professional developers). You just need to sign up with MUVI and buy the Android TV app. After that, you just need to fill out some forms and give us some vital information. And we will build your app and deliver it within just one day!
How do you deploy apps on Android TV?
We first develop the app using our templates and send it to you for testing. Once you test and approve the app, we publish it on the Play Store.
For publishing any app on Play Store, you need to first have a developer account. Then, you need to make sure that the app meets all the guidelines of Android TV. Finally, you go to Google Developer Console and publish your app.
What are the basic differences between an Android mobile app and an Android TV app?
Though the basic structure remains the same, still there are some differences between an Android mobile app and an Android TV app:
Navigation: If you want to convert a mobile app into a TV app, you will have to change the navigation features. Change the navigation style, remove the top menu bar of the mobile app, and adjust it somewhere in the side panel. Also, keep in mind that in mobile apps, people use the sliding action to navigate, while in TV apps, they use remote keys.
Sign In: Mobile apps mostly use either password-based sign-in or social sign-in, but TV apps use different types of sign in including social sign-in and code-based sign-in.
How much time will Muvi One take to develop my Android TV App?
JUST 5 MINUTES! Yes, we are not joking, you will get your app within 5 minutes only.
Will Muvi One keep a section of my profit from the Android TV?
Any product of Muvi does not follow profit sharing. We only charge the subscription amount. Once that is paid, we don’t demand any share of your profit. Hence, your profit is completely yours.
Which Payment Methods does Muvi One support?
Muvi One supports multiple payment methods, including all credit and debit cards. If you don’t want to pay via credit and debit cards, you can let us know. We will arrange payments via PayPal or Wire Transfer.
Debarpita is a Content Writer with Muvi. With around 2 years of experience in content creation, she has worked across industries like SaaS, EdTech, eLearning, AR-VR, and Metaverse. She believes in delivering content that can be of some value to the readers. In her free time, she likes to try her hand at website and app development.