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You Need a tvOS App


Aaron Hillegass

If current trends continue, most babies born today will never own a laptop or a desktop computer. They will carry a smart phone, and at home they will have a streaming device connected to their TV. That streaming device will run apps.

Every major company has embraced the importance of apps on mobile phones, but only a few (mostly media companies) seem to understand the importance of the apps that will run on these streaming devices.

Enter Apple TV

In March, Apple TV will have been shipping for a decade. While it got a slow start, I estimate (using other people’s surveys and Apple’s announcements over the years) that there are more than 40 million Apple TVs out there now.

It is one of the most powerful computers that you can buy for $149. Not to mention that Apple TV is used 25% more than Roku.


Every major media company has recognized the importance of Apple TV and released an Apple TV app, and Big Nerd Ranch has written some of them. Most of the first wave of popular Apple TV apps are content distribution apps and games.

What kinds of apps are likely to be in the next wave? We have some ideas:

  • Social Media
  • Education
  • Shopping
  • Travel Planning
  • Home Automation
  • Health and Fitness
  • Financial Services
  • Reference


In creating tvOS apps, our designers have found that creating a clear, elegant user experience that can be driven by the Apple Remote requires taking into account many more additional factors than when designing for a mobile device.

We have enjoyed working with the tvOS SDK and find it very clean and elegant, but its frameworks are significantly less comprehensive than those of iOS or macOS.


Some projections of tvOS predict that the number of devices will increase by 50% per year (as they did from 2014 to 2015). This sort of growth creates huge opportunities. Big Nerd Ranch is committed to tvOS development, and we would like to help you develop your app. Talk with our sales team to get started.


Aaron Hillegass

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