Video Player

The Apple TV video player lets people enjoy media within your app and is designed uniquely for the touch experience. Its seamless integration with the Siri Remote allows viewers to use fluid, intuitive gestures to move through their media.

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Using the remote, viewers can:

  • Scan quickly through a video by gliding a thumb across the touch surface
  • Skip forward and backward in a video by clicking on the left and right sides of the touch surface
  • Skip forward or backward through chapters by tapping to reveal the video timeline and then clicking on the left and right sides of the touch surface
  • Fast-forward or backward by clicking and holding on the left and right sides of the touch surface
  • Enter picture-in-picture mode by tapping to reveal the video timeline and picture-in-picture button, swiping up to focus the button and then clicking it
  • Swipe downward to display additional information such as subtitles, chapters, audio tracks, and speaker output options in the info panel

Use the system video player. The built-in video player is designed to provide an exceptional video playback experience. Its controls are minimal and unobtrusive, keeping the media as the center of attention. Unless your app truly requires a custom video player, use the system video player to produce a consistent media viewing experience across the platform.

Picture in Picture

The built-in video player's picture-in-picture (PiP) mode lets viewers watch two videos at once or use an app while simultaneously watching a video. People are accustomed to the appearance and behavior of the built-in PiP experience and they appreciate the easy, intuitive Siri Remote gestures that control it. If it's necessary to provide your own playback UI, make sure you understand the built-in experience so that you can provide similar behaviors.

Screenshot of a program on the Home screen titled Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth. At the top of the screen, the Watch Now tab is active. At the bottom-right corner, the picture-in-picture window shows the same program and includes a button to press for more options.

Watch Here We Are: Notes For Living on Planet Earth on the Apple TV app

People expect to find the Start PiP button above the video timeline when they use the Siri Remote. After swiping up to focus the button, people can click it to minimize the currently playing video into a small window in a corner of the screen. The rest of the screen displays the same content that was visible before video playback began, and lets people interact with this content independently of the PiP window.

Screenshot of the program titled Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth, paused at twenty-four minutes and twenty-nine seconds. At the bottom of the screen, the Start Picture-in-Picture button appears centered above the video timeline.

To manage the PiP window, people press the TV button while the window is focused. Pressing TV reveals the following three buttons, from left to right:

  • Exit PiP — Transitions the content in the PiP window back to full screen
  • Dismiss PiP — Closes the PiP window and stops playback
  • Reposition — Lets people relocate the PiP window to the other corners of the screen

Screenshot of the program Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth, on the Home screen with the Watch Now tab active. At the bottom-right corner of the screen, the picture-in-picture window shows the same program and includes the Exit, Dismiss, and Reposition buttons.

Provide a consistent picture-in-picture experience. If you must provide a custom playback UI, help people feel comfortable by letting them rely on their existing knowledge to control it. In particular, people expect to tap the Siri Remote and use the Swap and Dismiss PiP buttons to manage their experience in the following ways:

  • The Swap button (on the left) switches the positions of the videos between full screen and the PiP window.
  • The Dismiss PiP button closes the PiP window, stopping playback of its content, and resumes playback of the full-screen video.

Avoid allowing audio from different sources to mix as viewers switch between full-screen and picture-in-picture mode. Mixed audio is an unpleasant and frustrating user experience. In general, audio mixes when at least one of the audio sources fails to handle secondary audio correctly. Here is a typical scenario: While watching a full-screen video, the viewer moves it into the PiP window, where the system automatically mutes the video. In the full-screen window, the viewer starts a game that plays background music, then switches to the PiP window and unmutes the video. If the game doesn't handle secondary audio appropriately, its audio mixes with the audio from the unmuted video. For developer guidance, see silenceSecondaryAudioHintNotification.

Info Panel

The built-in video player includes an info panel that displays information about the video and lets viewers change settings for items such as subtitles, spoken languages, or speaker output. By default, the info panel contains three tabs titled Info, Subtitles, and Audio. (The TV app uses Chapters in place of Info.) You can provide a fourth tab if people need to access content-specific information or settings that you support.

Use a short, actionable term to title the tab. The title should make it easy for people to predict the information the tab contains. For example, you might use "Record," "Favorites," or "Restart."

Provide only the most critical information in your info panel tab. People shouldn't have to scroll to read the content you display.

Avoid asking people to input information. People typically open an info panel while they're watching a video, so they don't want to take the time to input data. A useful info panel helps people make a few essential choices and lets them return quickly to viewing the video.