Be consistent with the tvOS focus model. tvOS uses the focus experience throughout the system to forge a strong connection between people and the content they’re viewing. Reinforce this link in your app by ensuring that you combine gestures and the focus model in ways that are familiar to people.
Help people discover how to navigate. In your app, provide clear cues that show people what will happen when they make gestures. For example, lightly resting a thumb on the remote shows people where to swipe down so that they can reveal an info panel.
Define new gestures only when it makes sense in your app.
People are familiar with the standard gestures and don’t appreciate being forced to learn different ways to do the same thing. In games, custom gestures can be a fun part of the experience. In other apps, it’s best to use standard gestures so people don’t have to make an effort to discover or remember them.
Differentiate between click and tap, and avoid triggering actions on inadvertent taps. Clicking is a very intentional action, and is generally well-suited for pressing a button, confirming a selection, and initiating an action during gameplay. Tap gestures are fine for navigation or showing additional information, but keep in mind that people may naturally rest a thumb on the remote, pick it up, move it around, or hand it to someone else.
Consider using the position of a tap to aid with navigation or gameplay. The remote can differentiate between up, down, left, and right tap gestures on the touch surface. Respond to positional taps only if it makes sense in the context of your app and if such behavior is intuitive and discoverable.
In addition to the touch surface, which also operates as a clickable button, the Play/Pause button on the Siri Remote is accessible to your app or game. Buttons should behave consistently and predictably in the context of your app or game.
NOTE In all apps, Play/Pause immediately starts playback when people press it on a thumbnail of live or video-on-demand content or on an item in an electronic program guide (EPG). In a live-viewing app, a click in the EPG can start live streaming or reveal a detail view for the item. For more guidance, see Live-Viewing Apps.
Provide a way back to the previous screen and out of your app or game. People expect to press the Menu button on the remote and return to a previous screen or the main Apple TV Home screen. Pressing Menu at the top level of an app or game should always exit to the Apple TV Home screen. During gameplay, pressing Menu should show or hide an in-game pause menu that includes an option to navigate back to the game’s main menu.
Enable the Play/Pause button during media playback. When playing music or video, pressing the Play/Pause button should perform the expected behavior — play, pause, or resume.
Responding to an Apple TV–Compatible Remote
Some Apple TV-compatible remotes include buttons for browsing live TV or other multichannel content. For example, a remote might include a button people can use to open an electronic program guide (EPG) and other buttons they can use to browse the guide or change channels. For developer guidance, see Providing Channel Navigation; for EPG design guidance, see Provide a Great EPG Experience.
If your live-viewing app provides an EPG, respond to a remote’s EPG-browsing buttons in ways people expect. When people press a “guide” or “browse” button, they expect your EPG to open. While they’re viewing your EPG, people expect to navigate through it when they press a “page up” or “page down” button. Avoid responding to these buttons in other ways while people are browsing the EPG. If your app doesn’t support an EPG experience, the system routes these button presses to the default guide app on the viewer’s device.
While your content plays, respond to a compatible remote’s “page up” or “page down” button by changing the channel. People expect these buttons to behave differently when they switch between viewing content and browsing an EPG.