Apple has been steadily improving the tvOS App Store experience for customers and developers on the new Apple TV, and today it’s continuing by turning on support for app previews. Developers can create app previews, which are videos showing the app in action beyond just screenshots, to show customers how their apps work before they download or purchase the app.
Apple introduced app previews on the iOS App Store for iPhone and iPad as part of the iOS 8 update in 2014. OS X later enabled easy screencast creation using QuickTime, in part to help developers create app previews. The new fourth-gen Apple TV is the first entertainment box from the company to include an App Store. Previously channels appeared at Apple’s discretion and developers couldn’t openly submit their own apps.
Since the Apple TV debuted last October, Apple has improved the App Store experience on tvOS by working to bring it on par with the iPhone and iPad App Store. Changes include adding top charts and categories, new categories, and listing on iOS when apps have tvOS versions. And with the upcoming tvOS 9.2 software update, Apple is adding the ability to search for apps from anywhere using Siri.
Even with the rollout of app previews on the tvOS App Store, the new Apple TV still has an opportunity to improve the app experience for developers and customers alike. For instance, it’s currently not possible to easily link to a tvOS app on the web like it is with iOS apps. Apple TV apps also aren’t searchable or achievable in iTunes like iOS apps. Still, the Apple TV has been improving at a fast pace since its debut last fall and hopefully that momentum will continue.