tvOS Application Development using Xamarin

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Tudip

23 April 2019

What is tvOS?

tvOS is an operating system which is developed by Apple. It launched on Sep 9, 2015. Currently, we are using many of the streaming devices to play the video. tvOS is one of the most popular streaming devices in the world but currently, it is not available in India’s market. Let’s have a look on some features of tvOS App Development using Xamarin.

Features of tvOS App Development

tvOS 9 version came with lots of new features on the fourth generation Apple TV. The main feature was the touchpad remote with multiple gestures like Pan, Flick and Swipe gestures. It introduced a new App store functionality in which users can easily download and install the new application like Netflix, YouTube, and Prime Video etc. tvOS 9 also adds the Siri feature, with the help of the Siri we can directly provide the command to the Apple TV. Currently, Apple launched the latest 12.0 version of the tvOS.

tvOS App Development

We can do the tvOS Development in the various framework like swift, Objective C and Xamarin etc. Apple provides Xcode free of charge to all registered Apple developers for the Development.

Introduction to tvOS in Xamarin

Xamarin is the framework which is used for cross-platform development. Xamarin supports native and as well as cross-platform development. In the Xamarin we have Xamarin forms (Used for cross-platform development), Xamarin Android, Xamarin iOS and Xamarin tvOS used for native level development. For tvOS development, we need to learn about Xamarin tvOS. As a.Net Developer, if we know about C# then we can easily develop the tvOS application. We don’t need to learn about Swift and Objective C languages.

Required tools for tvOS App development

In the Xamarin tvOS App development we need the following things:

  • Install the latest Xcode: To run the Xamarin application firstly we need the latest version of Xcode that we can download from the https://developer.apple.com/xcode/download/ . Without Xcode, we can not run the Xamarin application.
  • Install the latest stable Xamarin release: We need to download the latest stable Xamarin version for the development.
  • Install the Visual Studio IDE: Apart from the Xcode we need to download the Visual Studio IDE where we can create a new project and easily run the application on the simulator.

How to Create new tvOS project in Xamarin 

To create the tvOS project we need to create a new project in Visual Studio. We need to perform the following things:

  1. Start Visual Studio in Macstart-studio
  2. Click on the File -> New Solution then we can see the below screen where we have two options

i) Single View App: It is used for the single view application.

ii) Tabbed App: It is used for the tabbed view application.

choose-template

  1. When we click on the create button then our new tvOS application is ready and below is the structure of the tvOS project.structure
  2. With the help of the simulator, we can directly run the Application and below is the tabbed tvOS application image.first-view

Some important facts about Xamarin tvOS

In the Xamarin tvOS, we need to know some of the following things.

  1. Starting of the Application: tvOS application always starts from the FinishedLaunching method which is in AppDelegate class.
  2. AppDelegate Class: This class is responsible for capturing the multiple events of the application like Application is going into the background, foreground, terminate etc.
  3. Main.cs: This is the main entry point of the application.
  4. Storyboard: As like Swift and Objective C, it also provides the storyboard where we can create a view of the application.

User Interface of tvOS

In the tvOS, we have a limited number of the user interface which we can use for the development. tvOS supports the following user interface:

  1. Alert
  2. Buttons
  3. Collection View
  4. Navigation Bar
  5. Page Control
  6. Progress Indicator
  7. Segment control
  8. Split View
  9. Stack View
  10. Tab Bar

Apart from this if we want to create any custom view like EPG grid then we can use the canvas to draw the custom view.

How to run the tvOS application on Live Devices

To run the tvOS application on the live device we need to create the Development Certificates and tvOS Provisioning Profiles using Apple developer account.

Deployment and App Distribution

For the deployment and distribution of the application, we use the TestFlight. With the help of the TestFlight, we can deploy and distribute the application on the app store.

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