Users have different expectations when watching TV than when they are using a phone or tablet. A typical TV user sits about 10 feet away from the screen, so small details are less noticeable and small text is hard to read. Since users sit away from a TV, they must use a remote control device to navigate and make selections rather than touching elements on the screen. These differences significantly affect the requirements for what makes a good TV user experience.
The first step toward creating a great experience for TV users is to review and follow the Android TV design guidelines. To understand the fundamental implementation requirements for a TV app, also review the Build TV Apps training.
Important: To help ensure a great user experience, apps for TV devices must meet specific requirements for usability. Only apps that meet the quality criteria on this page qualify as an Android TV app on Google Play.
For information about how to publish your TV apps in Google Play, see Distribute to Android TV.
Visual design and user interaction
The following criteria help ensure that your app follows critical design and interaction patterns for a consistent, intuitive, and enjoyable user experience on TV devices.
The app displays a launcher icon in the Android TV Launcher after installation. For more information, see Declare a TV activity.
The app displays a 320x180-pixel full-size banner as its launcher icon in the Android TV Launcher. For more information, see Provide a home screen banner.
The app launch banner contains the name of the app.
If the app is a game, it appears in the Games row in the Android TV Launcher.
The app runs successfully when the user selects the application banner from the home screen. For more information, see Run TV apps.
All app interfaces are presented in landscape orientation. For more information, see Build basic TV layouts.
The app displays core text at 16sp or larger. For more information, see Designing for TV.
The app displays all text at 12sp or larger.
The app does not display any text or functionality that is partially cut off by the edges of the screen. For more information, see Overscan.
The app does not partially obscure other apps. The app fills the entire screen and has a non-transparent background.
The app functionality is navigable using five-way D-pad controls—unless the app requires a game controller, as specified in the TV-GP criterion in the Controllers section of the Functionality table that follows. For more information, see TV Navigation.
If the app requires a game controller, as specified in the TV-GP criterion, all functionality is navigable using standard Android game controller keys. For more information, see Process gamepad button presses.
The app does not depend on a remote control device having a Menu button to access user interface controls.
Back button presses lead back to the Android TV home screen. For more information, see Provide appropriate Back-button behavior.
If the app has a live TV feed integrated on the Live tab, the app meets frictionless playback and direct-back requirements. For more information, see Back Button.
In-app search results are navigable using D-pad controls, unless the app requires a game controller, as specified in the TV-GP criterion. For more information, see Enable D-pad navigation.
An in-app search query shows up in the search box, similar to the user interface provided
These criteria ensure that your app is configured correctly and provides the expected functional behavior.
The app manifest sets an intent type of
The app manifest sets the hardware feature
If the app uses a game controller as its primary input method, it declares the appropriate
requirement with the
If the app provides visual instructions for using game controllers, the instructions are free of branding and show a compatible button layout. For more information, see Handle controllers for games.
The app offers interaction with advertising using D-pad controls. For more information, see Enable D-pad navigation.
For advertising that uses fullscreen, non-video ads, the app lets the user immediately dismiss the ad with D-pad controls.
For advertising that uses clickable, non-fullscreen, non-video ads, the app does not let ads link to a web URL.
For advertising that uses clickable, non-fullscreen, non-video ads, the app does not let ads link to another app that is not available on TV devices.
For web content, the app uses
If the app continues to play sound or video after the user returns to the home screen or switches to another app, the app provides a Now Playing card on the home screen recommendation row so users can return to the app to control playback. For more information, see Display a Now Playing card.
If the app provides a Now Playing card, selecting this card takes the user to a screen that lets them pause playback.
If the app plays video or music content, the app toggles between playing and
playback when a play or pause key event is sent during playback.
For more information, see
While a video or audio is playing, pressing the D-pad center button pauses the media that is playing. When playback is paused, pressing the D-pad center button resumes playback. The D-pad left and right buttons fast-forward and rewind the current track, respectively. For more information, see Media events.
Items are added to the Watch Next channel based on the Watch Next guidelines for app developers.
When there is user-initiated active video playback, the app prevents the device from going into Ambient Mode. For more information, see Ambient Mode.
When there is no user-initiated active video playback or animation, the app does not prevent the device from going into Ambient Mode.
For audio-only playback, the app does not prevent the device from going into Ambient Mode unless the app implements an experience of non-static imagery, such as music videos or images, while music is playing.
|Privacy & Security||SC-E1||
From May 2023, TV apps must comply with App Bundle requirements as outlined in SC-E1 in the core app guidelines.
Frequently asked questions
After I submit my app, how will find out if my app does not meet all the requirements for TV devices?
If your app doesn't meet the usability requirements described on this page, the Play Store team will contact you through the email address specified in the Google Play Console account associated with the app.
Caution: Make sure your app includes the required manifest entries for TV devices. Otherwise, your app will not be considered a TV app and will not be reviewed for TV usability requirements.
My app targets more than just TV devices. If my app does not meet the TV device requirements, will my new or updated app still appear on Google Play for other devices?
Yes. The requirements described on this page are only required for distribution to Google Play on TV devices. Distribution to other device types, such as phones and tablets, is not affected.
If my app meets the publishing requirements, when will it be available in the Google Play Store on TV devices?
Apps that meet the requirements for TV will appear on the Play Store on TV devices immediately.