Preparing Your tvOS App for the App Store

The App Store on Apple TV is available to customers around the world. Prepare and submit your tvOS apps, icons, screenshots, and description for review now.

Download Xcode 9 and tvOS.

Update your version of Xcode to the latest release of Xcode 9, which includes the latest tvOS SDK, and download and install tvOS on an Apple TV.

Build with tvOS SDK

You can use key frameworks and technologies such as Metal, UIKit, CloudKit and Game Center to create rich games and apps that look amazing on Apple TV. All libraries and frameworks used in tvOS apps must be built for tvOS, including any third-party libraries. Make sure your tvOS app doesn’t link against frameworks or libraries built for iOS. For more information, see the App Programming Guide for tvOS.

Use On-Demand Resources

Your submission may contain up to 4 GB in the main bundle and up to 20 GB of On-Demand Resources. To enable smaller app bundles, faster downloads, and more app content for your tvOS app, use On-Demand Resources to request content hosted on the App Store that are separate from your main app bundle. For more information, see the On-Demand Resources Guide.

Optimize your design and images.

Apple TV redefines the living room experience, allowing you to deliver immersive content on the big screen like never before. Get details and resources for optimizing the design of your tvOS app including requirements for layered app icons and Top Shelf images in the Apple TV Human Interface Guidelines.

Remote and Interactions

The Apple TV Remote provides the touch experience to your apps and games on Apple TV. Leverage the remote’s touch surface, accelerometer, and gyroscope to deliver a compelling and intuitive experience. Make sure the buttons on the remote behave consistently and predictably in your app or game. For more information, see the Apple TV Human Interface Guidelines.

Get your product page ready.

Make sure your app’s name, description, screenshots, and keywords are ready for your App Store product page on Apple TV.

App Name

Searching by app name is a key way users will find apps on the App Store on Apple TV. Search on the App Store on Apple TV is incremental, which means users see results each time they type a letter. Keep your tvOS app name short to help users quickly find what they are looking for.

If your tvOS app uses the same app ID as your iOS app, the apps will share one name. If your tvOS app uses a separate app ID, you will need to create a different name from your iOS app. Do not include the phrases Apple TV, tvOS or ATV in your name.

App Icon

tvOS app icons require layered images to support the parallax effect that creates the sense of depth and vitality for icons on Apple TV. For guidance on creating app icons and specifications, read the Apple TV Human Interface Guidelines.

Description

Your tvOS app has its own app description. Use the description to explain the ways in which the app is optimized for a large screen and how the app leverages the features of the Apple TV Remote to create an immersive, intuitive experience.

Keywords

Your tvOS app has its own unique set of keywords and are limited to 100 characters. Maximize the number of words that fit in this character limit by avoiding terms such as TV, television, and app. Do not use the phrases Apple TV, tvOS or ATV. For more information on writing effective keywords, read the App Store Product page.

Screenshots

You can upload up to five screenshots of your tvOS app. Take advantage of all five, as users will see every screenshot without having to scroll on your Apple TV product page. Use the full space for screenshots — do not frame screenshots in a TV. For compatibility with the new Apple TV 4K, iTunes Connect now supports screenshots that are 3840 by 2160 pixels. For more screenshot specifications, read the iTunes Connect Developer Guide.

App Previews

App previews demonstrate the features, functionality, and user interface of your app or game in a short video that users can watch by selecting the preview button on an app’s product page. Each preview is between 15 and 30 seconds long and appears in all countries or regions where your app is available. Learn more about app previews.

Using the name Apple TV

Apple TV is a trademark and should always be written in English, even when it appears within text of another language. Do not include the phrase Apple TV in your app name or keywords.

Universal Purchase

Empower customers to enjoy your app on both tvOS and iOS with a single purchase. To enable universal purchase of your app in iTunes Connect, simply attach a platform to your existing app record or create a new app for both iOS and tvOS and submit them for review. Once both versions are approved and released to the App Store, your customers will be able to access your app on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. Note that once both apps have been approved by App Review, you cannot disable universal purchase. Learn more.

Linking to tvOS Apps

Product pages for tvOS apps are also available on the App Store for iPhone and iPad, and on the iTunes Store for Mac and PC. Customers who have enabled their Apple TV to automatically install apps can download your app straight to Apple TV from their iOS device or computer when they follow a direct link to your product page. Simply get the link from iTunes Link Maker and use it when promoting your app.

While tvOS apps with universal purchase are discoverable on the App Store for iPhone and iPad through searching and browsing, apps exclusively on the App Store for Apple TV can only be found through this direct link.

Review, test, and upload.

Before submitting your app for review, make sure it adheres to the app review guidelines, you’ve tested your app on Apple TV, and it’s ready to be released to your customers.

App Review

All tvOS apps submitted to the App Store are reviewed based on a set of technical, content, and design criteria. Make sure to review the updated App Review Guidelines before submitting your app for review.

App Thinning

When compiling your tvOS app and any third-party libraries, Bitcode must be enabled. Your main app bundle is limited to 4 GB. Your submission can include up to 20 GB of On-Demand Resources, and the initial download of your app may include up to 2 GB of On-Demand Resources. For more information, see the On-Demand Resources Guide.

Testing

Before finalizing your app for release, get valuable feedback with beta testing to make sure it’s ready for your customers. Upload your apps to iTunes Connect and use TestFlight to install and test them on an Apple TV.

Release Date

As soon as your tvOS app is approved and is released, customers will be able to download and use your tvOS app, so make sure your back end systems are ready. For more information on app submission, read the iTunes Connect Developer Guide.

Download on the App Store

Promote your tvOS app.

Use the Download on the App Store badge, Apple TV images, and recommended messaging when promoting your tvOS app on the App Store.

Images and Badges

Display your tvOS app in Apple approved Apple TV images to introduce users to the app on this new platform. If your app is also available for iPhone and iPad, use the overlapping product image to display your app on all devices.

You can also use the Download on the App Store badge as a clear call-to-action in your marketing communications. Get the Download on the App Store badge from the App Store Marketing Guidelines.

App Analytics

Measure user engagement and monetization for your tvOS apps with App Analytics. In addition to seeing data on product page views, downloads, and engagement, you can see how many iOS users acquired with your marketing campaigns opened the same app on Apple TV. You can also promote your tvOS app in another tvOS app and track the results using campaign links.

Messaging

When marketing your tvOS app, direct users to the App Store on Apple TV and provide a clear call-to-action to search for your app by its exact name. Include your app icon in your marketing creative to help users connect your marketing message with the app as it appears on the App Store on Apple TV. Alternatively, you can provide a link to your tvOS product page on the App Store for iPhone and iPad to give users another way to download your app to Apple TV.

If your app is only for Apple TV, highlight this with a phrase such as “Exclusively for Apple TV”. If your app is already available for iPhone and iPad, promote your new tvOS app to existing iOS users with phrases such as “Also Available on the App Store on Apple TV” or “Now Available on the App Store on Apple TV”. For more messaging guidance for Apple TV, read the App Store Marketing Guidelines.