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Designing for Android TV

Material Design

Android TV Design Guidelines

The Android TV platform user interface provides the launch pad for your app's big screen experience. It's important to understand how your app is presented in the main user interface and how your app can help users get to the content they want quickly.

Note: Your app must meet specific design requirements to appear as an Android TV app on Google Play. For information about how to publish your TV apps in Google Play, see Distributing to Android TV.

A large screen UX

Due to the viewing distance of the TV, users may not be able to process as much information on TV as they would on a computer or mobile device. Limit the amount of text and reading on TV screens.

The long view from the couch

Home Screen

The home screen is the start of the user experience. It provides a rich and cinematic overview of apps and content, including search, recommendations, and access to settings.

TV Home screen

See the Material Design Guidlines for more about designing the home screen.

Navigation, Focus and Selection

Users typically navigate TV devices using a directional pad (D-Pad). This type of controller limits movement to up, down, left, and right. As you design your app for TV, make sure your user interface has clear paths for two-axis navigation by aligning objects in lists and grids.

A key aspect of making your application work well with a D-pad controller is to make sure that there is always an object that is obviously in focus. Your app must clearly indicate what object is focused, so users can easily see what action they can take. Use scale, shadow brightness, opacity, animation or a combination of these attributes to help users see a focused object.

TV navigation and focus diagram

Read more about designing navigation on a TV screen.

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