Diagram of an Apple TV that displays a mockup of an app sketched in blue and white.

tvOS Design Themes

Apple products are known for connecting people with content. This feeling of connection is expected from Apple TV, even though it isn't a device that people hold or touch directly. In many households, Apple TV sits in the living room, bringing people together for entertainment and conversation.

Apple TV is a unique platform with unique design requirements. Whether you’re building a game, a streaming media app, or a utility for the home, keep the following principles in mind as you imagine your app’s identity.

Connected

The Siri Remote lets people interact with content across the room through fluid, familiar gestures — a flick of the wrist, tapping, swiping, and clicking. Leverage the remote's touch surface, accelerometer, and gyroscope to connect people with your content in a delightful and engaging manner.

Clear

Apple TV apps should feel natural and intuitive. People should instinctively know what to do and where they are at all times. Use the provided layout grids, keep text legible at a distance, and avoid cluttering your interface with unnecessary visual adornments.

Apple TV uses a focus model for navigation. People use the remote to move through interface elements such as movie posters, apps, or buttons, highlighting each item as they come to it. An element is considered focused or in focus when people highlight the item, but haven't clicked it. Make it clear at a distance when something is in focus. Implement expected button behavior so it’s impossible to get lost during navigation — clicking an item with the remote takes people deeper into an app’s hierarchy, pressing Menu always takes them back.

Immersive

Beautiful, edge-to-edge artwork engulfs people in a rich, cinematic experience. Focusing on a piece of content elevates it, and the touch surface of the remote makes people feel like they're touching the screen, as on an iOS device. Sound is used throughout the system to enhance the visual experience. Strive for a sense of immersion through engaging content, subtle and fluid animations, awe-inspiring imagery, and captivating audio.