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10 May 2023

Building pixel-perfect living room experiences with Compose for TV

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Posted by Paul Lammertsma, Developer Relations Engineer

Over the past year, we’ve continued to see significant growth on Android TV OS, now with over 150 million monthly active devices. In fact, according to Strategy Analytics, the Android TV streaming platform shipped on more devices worldwide than any other streaming TV platform in 2022.

Today, we’re launching the Alpha release of Compose for TV, the latest UI framework for developing beautiful and functional apps for Android TV.

Building pixel-perfect living room experiences with Compose for TV

Compose for TV unlocks all the benefits of Jetpack Compose for your TV apps, allowing you to build apps with less code, easier maintenance and a modern Material 3 look straight out of the box:

  • Less code: Do more with less code and avoid entire classes of bugs, so code is simple and easy to maintain. 
  • Intuitive: Describe your UI, and Compose takes care of the rest. As the app state changes, your UI automatically updates. 
  • Accelerate development: Compose for TV is compatible with all your existing code so you can adopt when and where you want. Iterate fast with live previews and full Android Studio support. 
  • Powerful & flexible: Create beautiful apps with direct access to the Android platform APIs that can be easily reused between other form factors, including your existing mobile, tablet, foldable, wearable and TV interfaces.

TV design guidelines

We're also excited to announce the launch of our new TV Design Guidelines for Android TV. This comprehensive guide gives you the tools you need to create TV apps that are visually appealing, intuitive, and immersive. The guidelines cover everything from typography and color to navigation and layout. Follow these guidelines to create high-quality TV apps that are easy to use.

image of a wall mounted, flat screen television in a modern home. The screen is showing the preview for a show titled 'Paws' with an adorable puppy as the show's star, and a Watch Now button

Components you can use today

Here are some components from the TV library that are optimized for the living room experience. You can use them alongside the Material components in Compose you’re already familiar with.

Scroll containers

TvLazyColumn {
  items(contentList) { content ->
    TvLazyRow {
       items(content) { cardItem ->

moving image of a grid of content cards
A grid of content cards

  pivotOffsets = PivotOffsets(0.0f)
) {
  items(movie) { movie ->

moving image of a grid of content cards
Adjusting the pivot of a TvLazyRow

Immersive List

    modifier = Modifier.height(130.dp).fillMaxWidth(),
    background = { index, _ ->
        AnimatedContent(targetState = index) { 
) {
    TvLazyRow {
        items(featuredContentList.size) { index ->

moving image of a grid of content cards
ImmersiveList allows TvLazyRows to be combined with content featuring

Featured carousel

   itemCount = featuredContentList.size,
) { index ->
     background = {
     content = {

moving image of a grid of content cards
Carousel features content with custom content and backgrounds


var selectedTabIndex by remember { mutableStateOf(0) }
TabRow(selectedTabIndex = selectedTabIndex) {
    tabs.forEachIndexed { index, tab ->
            selected = selectedTabIndex == index,
            onFocus = {
                selectedTabIndex = index
        ) {

moving image of a grid of content cards
TabRows can be placed at the top of the screen to provide top navigation

Side navigation with navigation drawer

  drawerContent = {
    if (DrawerValue.Open == it) {
    } else {

moving image of a grid of content cards
NavigationDrawer makes it easy to implement side navigation that expands and collapses

TV-optimized components

Subtle focus hints that work on phones and tablets might not be optimal for TVs, due to environmental factors such as distance from the screen and contrast ratio. To address this, we’ve built dedicated Material3 inspired components that provide big, bold focus for selected elements like Buttons and Cards, designed with accessibility in mind. You can use these Indications for your own custom surfaces as well.

moving image of a grid of content cards
Component focus can be customized through different indication types: Scale, Border, Glow and Color

Built with developers

We worked closely with a group of early adopters to get their feedback on Compose for TV. Here’s what they have to say:

Quote card with headshot of Dai Williams, Plex, smiling and text reads,'TV focus and scrolling support on Compose from Google has greatly improved our developer productivity and app performance. We are excited to launch more and more features using Compose this year.'

Quote card with headshot of Danny Preussler, Android Platform Lead, Soundcloud, smiling and text reads,'Thanks to Compose for TV, we are able to reuse components and move much faster than the old Leanback View APIs would have ever allowed us to'

Quote card with headshot of Petr Introvič, Showmax, smiling and text reads,'Dev-friendly components like ImmersiveList or Carousel helped us put front the top content, and NavigationDrawer added a top-level navigation—the final piece for our TV app migration to Compose.'

Quote card with headshot of Kishore AK, CTO, Zee5, smiling, and text reads 'We are constantly striving to ensure our users have the best possible experience. We started early on COmpose for TV and are confident that its implementation will help in making our app rendering faster and smoother.'

Learning more

To get started , check out the developer guides, design reference, our new codelab and sample code. Be sure to check the latest release notes to keep up to date with the latest updates to Compose for TV.

Feedback from developers & designers like you

We’ve heard your feedback about the Leanback API and your desire to use a modern UI framework that looks great out of the box, but also lends itself to be thoroughly themed and customized. Please continue to give us feedback so we can continue shaping Compose for TV to fit your needs.