Announcing the tvOS Apprentice Week!

To celebrate the launch of our new book, the tvOS Apprentice, we’re hosting a special week-long celebration with tutorials, prizes, and more! By Ray Wenderlich.

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Ever since the tvOS SDK was first released, the Tutorial Team has been working on the definitive book on Apple TV development: the tvOS Apprentice.

Today, we have some exciting news – the book is now 100% complete and available today!

To celebrate the book launch, we’ll be posting some free tvOS tutorials this week, and giving away some free copies of the book – and even a brand new Apple TV.

Keep reading to find out more about the tvOS Apprentice, how to enter the giveaway, and how to get your launch discount.

Introducing the tvOS Apprentice

The tvOS Apprentice teaches you everything you need to know to develop great apps for the Apple TV – whether you’re a seasoned iOS pro, or a web developer looking to leverage your skills to a new platform.

The book covers both of the ways you can make tvOS apps:

  • TVML apps: The first way to make apps is via TVML and TVJS – a new markup language and programming language created specifically for tvOS apps. Web developers will rejoice, and even native iOS developers will discover this is quite powerful, and can save a lot of development time.
  • Traditional apps: The second way to make apps is the traditional approach – coding apps in Swift or Objective-C, using frameworks from iOS like UIKit, AVFoundation, StoreKit, and more. iOS developers will discover this leverages your existing expertise and code, and allows you to make a fully custom user interface.

This book is a whopping 28 chapters and 538 pages, covering all aspects of tvOS development from beginner to advanced. Let’s take a look at what’s ahead.

Section I: Architecture


This section contains just one chapter, designed to give you a birds-eye view of how tvOS works and help you decide what to read next.

  1. Chapter 1, Architecture: The architecture chapter is the introduction to the technology behind Apple TV apps. This chapter will be your guide to help you decide your path through the rest of the book.

Section II: TVML Apps


This section covers the basics for creating an app via the TVML approach. From the basics of Hello World through a real world example, by the end of this section you’ll know everything you need to create client / server apps for Apple TV.

  1. Chapter 2, Hello, TVML: Shows you how to set up a basic Hello World app using TVML and Javascript.
  2. Chapter 3, Beginning TVML: You’ll use basic TVML templates to manipulate the UI in a simple application.
  3. Chapter 4, Intermediate TVML: Building off of chapter 3, you’ll learn more complicated interfaces and templates.
  4. Chapter 5, TVJS: Start working in Javascript and learn to manipulate the TVML DOM.
  5. Chapter 6, Exploiting Native Functionality from TVML: Learn how to take advantage of native libraries and integrate them with your TVML app.
  6. Chapter 7, Harnessing the Server: Now that you’ve got all the basics down, this chapter will walk you through a real world example with industry standard server technologies.

Section III: Traditional Apps


This section covers the basics for creating apps via the traditional approach. You’ll learn the new libraries created for Apple TV, and how the ported libraries from iOS can be used.

  1. Chapter 8, Hello, Traditional App: Learn how to set up a basic “Hello World” app using native libraries in Swift.
  2. Chapter 9, Basic Controls: Learn the basic controls your users can use to interact with your apps.
  3. Chapter 10, Stack Views: Stack Views are the backbone to the layout of your app – learn how to use them here.
  4. Chapter 11, Collection Views: See how easy it is to display a list of items in an engaging layout.
  5. Chapter 12, Navigation: Learn how to set up different forms of screen to screen navigation.
  6. Chapter 13, Focus: Apple TV uses a whole new Focus paradigm to show the user what control is currently selected – learn how this works and what it means for your apps.
  7. Chapter 14, Animation: Get ready to add some delightful animation to your tvOS apps.
  8. Chapter 15, Networking: Learn how to download content, video, and other assets over the network.

Section IV: Advanced Frameworks


This section covers some of the more advanced frameworks you’ll need for many TV app use cases. Whether you took the TVML approach or the Traditional approach, these frameworks will be important to understand to make your app stand out.

  1. Chapter 16, User Input and the Controller: Learn how your app can interact with the new Apple TV remote.
  2. Chapter 17, Beginning Video Playback: One of the most common requirements for Apple TV apps will be to play video – learn how to do that here.
  3. Chapter 18, Advanced Video Playback: Learn about some of the more advanced topics in playing videos.
  4. Chapter 19, On Demand Resources: Learn how to use Apple’s easy to use storage system, so your app can download assets on the fly.
  5. Chapter 20, Beginning CloudKit: Learn how to use CloudKit on tvOS to store your app’s data.
  6. Chapter 21, Advanced CloudKit: Go further in depth with CloudKit with user specific storage and error handling.
  7. Chapter 22, In App Purchase: Monetize your app by allowing users to purchase digital goods.
  8. Chapter 23, Native UI in TVML Apps: Learn how to augment the TVML-to-UIKit engine to create custom resources, TVML tags, and styling properties.

Section V: Design


This chapter covers new design concepts introduced in tvOS. For your app to stand apart from the rest, you’ll need to understand these new design concepts well.

  1. Chapter 24, tvOS Design: Learn how to design your apps to fit in well with the tvOS ecosystem.
  2. Chapter 25, Creating Layered Images: Shows how to create a new kind of image specifically for the TV.
  3. Chapter 26, The Top Shelf: The Top Shelf is a new design concept that allows your app to show off specific content – learn how to use this in your apps.

Bonus Chapters

And that’s not all – on top of the above, we have some bonus chapters for you.

  1. Chapter 27, Javascript Crash Course: Developing TVML apps for tvOS requires some Javascript knowledge. If you’re new to Javascript, check here for a quick crash course.
  2. Chapter 28, Server Deployment: Similarly, developing TVML apps for tvOS requires some knowledge for being able to deploy servers. We have a crash course on that for you too. :]