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Recommend TV content

The Android TV home screen displays recommendations two different ways depending on which version of Android is running:

  • In Android 8.0 (API level 26) and later, apps can show recommendations in one or more channels that appear on seprate rows. One channel (the default channel) always appears. The user can discover and add the other channels to their home screen. Learn how to create recommendation channels on the home screen.
  • Before Android 8.0, Android TV shows all recommendations in a single recommendations row that always appears on the screen. Learn how to create the recommendation row on the home screen.

Ensure compatibility

To be able to show recommendations on all versions of Android TV, your app should implement both recommendation APIs. Test the current system API level and use the appropriate API to build the recommendation row or channels

if (android.os.Build.VERSION.SDK_INT >= Build.VERSION_CODES.O) {
  // Use the home screen recommendation channels API
}
else {
  // Use the recommendations row API
}

If your app was compiled using API level 25 or earlier, it can still run on Android TV in level 26. The old recommendations behavior is forward-compatible, but constrained:

  • The recommendatons row is automatically converted and appears as a new channel on the home screen.
  • The programs on the converted channel respond to updates from your recommendation service, but the user cannot use the TV's UI to manipulate the programs on the channel (add/remove programs, copy programs to the watch next channel).
  • If you update the app to API level 26, the converted channel still appears on TVs running API 26. The TV removes the converted channel from the screen the first time your app displays a channel created with the new API. This happens immediately if the app creates a default channel, or later when the user selects and adds any other channel created by your app.