The first big Social Media platform entry into Android TV has arrived in unofficial form but for the better. Vineyard the Vine client for Android TV was created by Github user hithereJoe.
From a development standpoint this is a huge thing for various Android TV developers. Besides the Leanback Library there isn’t a ton of documentation and tutorials out there to get newcomers to the platform and development in general started. Having 2 1/2 years of industry experience hithereJoe used his knowledge to write custom adapters to make these unique actions in his app. The one that you’ll notice first and will probably have you thinking how’d he do that is the one shown below.
What is this view? It’s a custom written adapter called Video Card, when a card view displaying a Post item becomes focused by the user when they’re browsing content, the card will automatically start looping the video as a preview for that Post. It allows the user to become more engaged with the content and bring that real TV experience instead of the static pictures we’re use to seeing while browsing on a set top box.
According to hithereJoe Android TV as a platform had not had any examples or documentation on ways to do automated testing. So he created the following to do so: Building, Unit Tests, and User Interface Tests.
In addition to the custom view ‘Video Card’ there’s also a Gallery shown below of the additional custom views made in the building of the app.
What Can It Do?
At this point you’re probably wondering what all does this app allow me to do on my TV?
This app currently allows the user to:
- Browse feeds from a range of Vine Categories
- Watch Vine video posts
- Search for Vine Users and Hashtags
- View video grids for Users and Hashtags
- Toggle the Auto-Loop option via Settings”
Vineyard is an amazing example of what Android TV and its community of developers are capable of. Easily one of the best designs on the platform in its young life. If you’d like to download it for yourself you can click here and if you want to checkout the project on Github do so here.