Introduction to tvOS

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last updated: 2017-03

This article introduces working with tvOS for the new Apple TV in a Xamarin app.

Introducing tvOS

Apple has released the 4th generation of the Apple TV hardware featuring a redesigned, touch-enable remote, running the new tvOS operating system (based on iOS9).

For the first time, tvOS opens the Apple TV platform to developers, allowing you to create rich, immersive apps and release them through the Apple TV's built-in App Store in a process similar to the experience of writing and releasing apps for iOS using the iTunes App Store.

For more information on tvOS, please see our Introduction to tvOS 9 documentation.


We have a several documents available to help you get started working with tvOS in a Xamarin.tvOS app:

  • Introduction to tvOS 9 – This article introduces all of the new and modified APIs and features available in tvOS 9 for Xamarin.tvOS developers.
  • Hello, tvOS Quick Start Guide – This guide walks through creating your first Xamarin.tvOS app, and in the process introduces the development toolchain, including Visual Studio for Mac, Xcode and Interface Builder. It also introduces Outlets and Actions, which expose UI controls to code, and finally, it illustrates how to build, run and test a Xamarin.tvOS application.
  • Working with Icons and Images – This article covers designing and working with icons and images inside of a Xamarin.tvOS app.
  • Working with Navigation and Focus – This article covers the concept of Focus and how it is used to present and handle Navigation inside of a Xamarin.tvOS app.
  • Resources and Data Storage – This article covers working with resources and persistent data storage in a Xamarin.tvOS app.
  • Siri Remote and Bluetooth Controllers – This article covers supporting the new Siri Remote and Bluetooth game controllers in your Xamarin.tvOS apps.
  • User Interface – General User Experience (UX) coverage including User Interface (UI) controls, use Xcode's Interface Builder and UX design principles when working with Xamarin.tvOS.
  • Deployment, Testing and Metrics – This section covers topics used to test an app as well as how to distribute it. Topics here include things such as tools used for debugging, deployment to testers and how to publish an application to the Apple TV App Store.
  • Supported Assemblies – This is a list of the assemblies supported by Xamarin for your Xamarin.tvOS apps.
  • Supported and Unsupported Frameworks – This is a list of the Frameworks supported by Xamarin for your Xamarin.tvOS apps.

Sample Projects

There are a few sample projects available that show how to work with Xamarin.tvOS app:

  • Hello, tvOS – This sample implements a simple "Hello World" app in Xamarin.tvOS and presents the basics of working with tvOS.
  • tvAlerts – This sample shows how to work with alerts in a Xamarin.tvOS app.
  • tvButtons – This sample shows how to work with buttons is a Xamarin.tvOS app.
  • tvRemote – This sample presents several ways that your Xamarin.tvOS app can interact with the Siri Remote to navigate your User Interface.
  • tvCollection – This sample shows how to work with Collection View Controllers in a Xamarin.tvOS app.
  • tvNavBars – This sample shows how to work with Navigation Bars in a Xamarin.tvOS app.
  • tvPages – This sample shows how to work with Page Controls in a Xamarin.tvOS app.
  • tvProgress – This sample shows how to work with Progress Indicators in a Xamarin.tvOS app.
  • tvSplit – This sample shows how to work with Split View Controllers in a Xamarin.tvOS app.
  • tvStackView - This sample shows how to work with Stack Views in a Xamarin.tvOS app.
  • UICatalog – Demonstrates how to use many views and controls in the UIKit framework on tvOS. Refer to this sample if you are looking for specific controls or views that are provided by the system.

Additionally, Apple provides the following sample apps that can be transcoded to C# to work with Xamarin's support for tvOS apps:

Known Issues and Troubleshooting

Please see our Known Issues and Troubleshooting guide for a list of know issues you might encounter while using Xamarin.tvOS and their possible solutions.

Please report any bugs you find to Bugzilla.

Xamarin Workbook

If it's not already installed, install the Xamarin Workbooks app first. The workbook file should download automatically, but if it doesn't, just click to start the workbook download manually.