Developer checklist when developing apps for Samsung Smart TV

Samsung Smart TV

Developing applications for Smart TV needs some steps to be followed and some checklists to be maintained. The most basic and the most necessary ones includes ensuring that the SDK and the other necessary softwares need to be installed in a system that has the required configuration. This setup is enough for anyone to start developing applications for Samsung Smart TV platform. After learning the SDK, and referring the documentation section, any developer can start with developing applications for Samsung Smart TV platform with very little effort. Assuming the we have complete idea of the Samsung Smart TV APIs or we are very well aware of how to go through the documentation section and find out stuff that we want to aid with our development.

The documentation contains sections that explains stuff ranging from installation of the SDK, developing applications till deploying the applications in store for downloads. It also gives the general idea behind the Samsung Smart TV platform such as the following.

  • concepts
  • terms and analogies used
  • application folder structure
  • application file types
  • functionalities of each file types
  • optimizing the development process
  • application performance

As we all know that, Samsung Smart TV platform makes use of almost all the modern web technologies for its working, any modern web developer can get hold of the development process in Samsung Smart TV with little effort. Apart from the general web technology stuff related to the normal web, there are certain things that a developer needs to keep in mind when developing for the Smart TV platform.

User Interaction:

Smart TVs use TV remote as the primary means of user interaction. Every Smart TV user in some way or other use the TV remote for interacting with the TV and the applications in it. So by default every application developed for Smart TV should be able to handle the events sent from the TV Key remote. The Samsung Smart TV SDK when creating new JavaScript projects will automatically include the code for basic remote Key handling. Every application developed for Smart TV should keep this in mind.

Simple UI:

Smart TV remotes cannot provide that much flexibility as of the input devices found in home computers such as mouse and keyboard. So the normal navigation between application menu items using the TV remote is a tedious process when compared to that of the navigation in computers. So the developer or the designer responsible for designing the User Interface for Samsung Smart TV should keep this in mind. The general principle that needs to be remembered here is Everything needed inside that app should be available within one hand’s reach. The user should be able to navigate to any areas of the application in one or two clicks.

Scalable Application Resolution

Samsung Smart TV models comes in various resolutions and BPP (Bits Per Pixel) range. The applications developed for the Smart TV Platform should be able to scale well and display application contents without any difficulties. Normally the screen resolution for FHD Tvs are in the range of 1280×720 pixels and for the UHD Tvs the range is in 1920×1080 pixels. The application since rendered by a browser engine, should display in fullscreen without any scrolling or scrollbar issues. So while developing for multiple TVs make sure that the screen aspect ratio to 16:9, so that the application scales perfectly to the available TV models.



Common Web Application Features

As we know that Smart TV applications are web applications that uses common web technologies to accomplish the tasks. The developer can make use of the available web technologies that are currently supported in the JavaScript engine that currently runs the Smart TV applications. Each Smart TV versions make use of their own JavaScript and browser environments. So the developer who is developing for a set of Smart TV platforms will have to consider the browser engine version that is currently used, and will have to consider the web application features available for that platform. As a general view, the common web technologies in use are HTML5, audio, video, Canvas Rendering, animations, storage, database etc. Apart from the common web, the developers can also make use of the custom Samsung and the Tizen TV apis provided by Samsung.

TLS Support

TLS support needs to be essential for applications that used some method of secure means to transmit data. The data includes login information, Transaction information, Personal information. The TLS is implemented between the browser and the server environment inside the Samsung Smart TV.  Samsung Smart TV supports TLS version 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is not supported.

Multitasking

While developing applications, the user who is watching the TV may switch between the application that you have developed, as well as other applications. While switching to other applications, the current application is minimized and moved to the background. While the minimizing action is taking place, the current application saves its state to a portion in the RAM. The application should handle the necessary conditions during the minimization process, and switch back to it’s original state when restored again. These actions should take place without any considerable interruptions.

Conclusion

This post listed out the things that the Samsung Smart TV developer should keep in mind, before developing a Samsung Smart TV application. Keeping in mind, the above checklist, will help the developer in making his app well suited to all the application use case scenarios such as TV Size, Usability, Stability, Security etc. No matter what the type of the application, keeping in mind, the above checklist will help us ensure that our application is market ready and will go on without any further problems when used.




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