Users have different expectations when watching TV, compared to 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, which provides instructions on how to build the best user experience for TV apps. You should also review the Building TV Apps training, to understand the fundamental implementation requirements for a TV app.
Important: To ensure a great user experience, apps for TV devices must meet specific requirements for usability. Only apps that meet the following quality criteria will qualify as an Android TV app on Google Play.
Note: For information about how to publish your TV apps in Google Play, see Distributing to Android TV.
Visual design and user interaction
These criteria ensure that your app follows critical design and interaction patterns to ensure a consistent, intuitive, and enjoyable user experience on TV devices.
The app displays a launcher icon in the Android TV Launcher after installation. (Learn how)
The app displays a 320 x 180px full-size banner as its launcher icon in the Android TV Launcher. (Learn how)
The app launch banner contains the name of the app. (Learn how)
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. (Learn how)
All app interfaces are presented in landscape orientation. (Learn how)
The app displays core text at 16sp or higher in size. (Learn how)
The app displays all text at 12sp or higher in size. (Learn how)
The app does not display any text or functionality that is partially cut off by the edges of the screen. (Learn how)
The app does not partially obscure other apps. The app fills the entire screen and has a non-transparent background.
The app does not depend on a remote controller having a Menu button to access user interface controls. (Learn how)
Back button presses lead back to the Android TV home screen. (Learn how)
For apps with a live TV feed integrated on the Live tab, the app meets frictionless playback and direct-back requirements. (Learn how)
These criteria ensure that your app is configured correctly and provides the expected functional behavior.
The app manifest sets the hardware feature
If the app provides visual instructions for using game controllers, the instructions should be free of branding and show a compatible button layout. (Learn how)
The app allows interaction with advertising using D-pad controls. (Learn how)
For advertising that uses fullscreen, non-video ads, the app allows the user to immediately dismiss the ad with D-pad controls.
For advertising that uses clickable, non-fullscreen, non-video ads, the app does not allow ads to link to a web URL.
For advertising that uses clickable, non-fullscreen, non-video ads, the app does not allow ads to 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 has returned to the home screen or switched 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. (Learn how)
If the app provides a Now Playing card, selecting this card takes the user to a screen that allows playback to be paused. (Learn how)
If the app plays video or music content, the app toggles between play and pause of media playback when a play or pause key event is sent during playback. (Learn how)
While a video or audio is playing, pressing the D-pad center button should immediately pause the media that is playing. When paused, D-pad center button should resume playing. D-pad left and right buttons should fast forward or rewind the current track. (Learn how)
When adding items to the Watch Next channel, developers should follow the Watch Next guidelines. (Learn how)
When there is user-initiated active video playback, the app must prevent the device from going into Ambient Mode. (Learn How)
When there is no user-initiated active video playback or animation, the app must not prevent the device from going into Ambient mode.
For audio-only playback, the app must not prevent the device from going to Ambient Mode. Exception: The app implements an experience of non-static imagery (e.g. music videos, images) while music is playing.
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 does not 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 above only excludes 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.