Developing for TV

The concept of a single device has been deprecated for years now. We have a smartphone on our pockets, a smart watch on our wrists, a laptop on our desks, a tablet on our backpacks, a TV on our living rooms, etc. and although we have this diversity of devices only recently they learn about the existence of each other and start to interact. Ideas like receiving a call on our phones and answer it instead on the computer or using our devices as remote controls for a TV game are now possible.

Over the last years our televisions have been losing our attention. They became difficult to use - we no longer have a small number of channels or 9 to 5 schedules which allowed us to watch a specific movie at a defined time - for example we want to watch a movie after a long work day without pressing dozens of buttons and without watching through long commercials. We want the same experience that we have on our computers or tablets. Manufacturers have been attempting to solve this problem by filling our TV’s with a large amount of applications that we might have opened once to see how they work - and well… they are still there… somewhere.

During the latest Google I/O, Google presented what they believe it will be next TV experience - Google TV. Their proposal is an android set top box along with a new support library - leanback - as well as a defined set of designing rules which will allow the user to to take the best experience from their TV’s. Moreover, you can use your mobile phone as a secondary device/or remote control increasing the number of features available and providing new ways to interact with your TV.

On this talk I’m planning to give an overview of what is possible to do with this new system along with some code samples - what to do, why to do it and how can I do it, examples and pitfalls to avoid.

More information: Mdevcon 2015