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Android TV App Development: 3 Easy Ways To Develop An App For Android TV

Android TV App Development: 3 Easy Ways To Develop An App For Android TV

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Android TV apps help you connect with a wide-reaching audience that’s growing hungrier for new apps and content with every passing day. So, if you’re into the video content creation arena, learning how to build an Android TV app (and actually building one) is a smart decision.

As you know, the Android platform is open-source, which means developing an Android TV app is simple. But simple doesn’t always mean easy. So, let us help you learn about the ways to develop an Android TV painlessly.

How to build an Android TV app: 3 approaches

The number of active Android TV users increased by 80% over the last year. This is your chance to hit the hay! Just choose one of the following Android TV app development approaches depending on your budget and experience.

1. Repurpose your existing Android app

If you already have an Android video streaming app that’s made for mobile devices, you can turn it into an Android TV app without having to do much work.

According to Android’s official developer guidelines, you can use your existing app as the basis for your TV app. So, find a freelancer or have your current developer adapt your existing Android video streaming app, and you are already 80% of the way to building your dream Android TV app.

Nevertheless, if you don’t already have an Android application, you might want to check out the next two methods.

2. Cooperate with a freelance engineer or hire one in-house

Not every business has the luxury of having a go-to developer to create an app for Android TV. So, if you’re serious about building an Android TV app, find a developer or a freelancer with enough experience to build your app from scratch.

This will give you total control over the process and the end result. From the icons to the ways videos are displayed, you can have the developer customize almost every aspect of your Android TV app and user experience.

However, it will also give you the headache of staffing. With a freelancer, you’ll have to do lots of digging to find a truly trustworthy and responsible professional, carefully analyzing their skills to make sure they can create the Android TV App you have in mind. With an in-house employee, you’ll have to handle the legal side of hiring, provide the person with a place to work and/or equipment. Days off and vacations are also going to be your responsibility.

3. Outsource Your Android TV App Development

When you run a business, it might be tempting to do everything yourself. But you probably know by now how time-consuming and unfeasible it is. So why not consider outsourcing? It’s the easiest way to get your Android TV app developed when you don’t have skilled developers on your payroll.

Vendors offer outsourcing services and will be happy to create an app based on your requirements. They have the professionals and experience with the tools required for developing apps. And not only do they handle hiring and managing tech professionals, but they also have experience developing solutions similar to yours.

Take Perfsol, for example. We offer custom-fit and reliable outsourcing services to clients of all shapes and sizes—from startups to multinational companies. One of these companies was DNS:NET, a Germany-wide telecommunication network that offers digital TV services in HD quality.

DNS:NET needed to update its streaming client, and the client selected Perfsol to do the job. We extended the client’s in-house team with our team of dedicated professionals, helping them build a TV app both for Android mobile and Android TV.
Another advantage of contracting an outsourcing vendor is that they don’t just quit as soon as Android TV app development is over. At Perfsol, we offer support, maintenance, and regular updates to ensure you get to make the most when you create an app for Android TV.

Best Technologies for Android TV App Development

List of technologies required for Android TV app development is similar to the standard set of programming languages for Android but has some peculiarities to pay attention to. Let's examine these technologies more closely.

Android SDK

Android SDK is a universal tool for developing mobile applications for Android. It has a wide range of functions and tools, thanks to which you can quickly start testing and debugging the source code. The corresponding environment is written in Java. SDK was developed by Google in 2009.

It is an emulator and development environment in one package. It has the following advantages:

  • a powerful toolkit for creating quality applications for Android TV;
  • the ability to observe the result in real-time;
  • cross-platform;
  • version compatibility;
  • availability of the debugger as well as own libraries.

Google Chromecast

Chromecast allows you to stream content from your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or PC to your TV, external display, smart speaker, or audio system. Content is transferred over the DIAL (Discovery and Launch) protocol, which literally detects and launches applications that are in the same subnet, even if they are on different devices. The devices themselves need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi router beforehand. The technology can be implemented in any application on popular operating systems: Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows.

Kotlin

Kotlin is a modern, statically typed, and one of the fastest-growing programming languages that allows you to develop app for Android TV, iOS, web applications, server, and cross-platform solutions. It is not just another language, but a full-fledged ecosystem. It includes the language itself, a basic toolkit, and libraries. After the launch, Google made it a priority language on Android in 2017, establishing it as a standard.

Android TV App Developers: where to hire?

So, you already know how to hire Android TV app developers, but where to find them and, more importantly, how to do it with the least financial and time costs. Well, it depends on the region you are in and the cost of services in the region you will order the Android TV app development from.
android tv app developers

As you can see from the image above, the cost of Android TV app developers worldwide is very different. Similarly, the quality of their services also differs. In this ratio, the most promising regions are those with low prices, but a high level of expertise of specialists. The most optimal in this regard are the countries of Eastern Europe and, in particular, Ukraine. Here the average rate for an hour of Android TV app development will be about $40. At the same time, if you order the creation of an Android TV app in the U.S. or Western Europe, the price tag will be doubled, and maybe even higher.

Android TV app development example

Here is a great example of how the Perfsol team developed an Android TV app. Our team is the perfect complement to the DNS:Net team. It is a German-wide telecommunication network that, among other things, provides digital TV in HD quality.

Together we developed the following features for the app:

  • added fast forward/rewind and instant replay for Live streaming
  • increased quality of the application
  • added DRM support, offline mode,
  • added Amazon Fire TV support,
  • implemented in-app purchases

We've used the following technologies during development:

  • Android SDK,
  • Kotlin,
  • ExoPlayer,
  • DRM,
  • Amazon Fire TV,
  • GraphQL.

The app provides the ability to watch TV highlights, films, series, and other live TV content. It exists on both Android mobile and Android TV platforms.

The bottom line

There are only three ways to deliver an Android TV app. You can extend your existing Android application; you can dive into the hiring process to hand-pick an Android TV app developer who will join your team or a freelancer with fair reviews; or you can ask an outsourcing vendor to do all the hard work for you while you manage the process just as much as you want to.

If you decide to make your own Android app and go with the third variant, why not give Perfsol a try? Contact us now, and we will reach back at the earliest.