tvOS Apprentice Updated for Swift 3 and tvOS 10

We’re excited to announce tvOS Apprentice, Second Edition – updated for tvOS 10 and Swift 3! By Chris Belanger.

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This Wednesday’s book release is the tvOS Apprentice, Second Edition.

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 team has been working hard to bring this book fully up to date for Swift 3 and tvOS 10 — and even added some brand-new chapters in the process! More on that shortly.

This will be a free update for existing tvOS Apprentice PDF customers — our way to say “thanks” to our readers for their support!

Don’t own the tvOS Apprentice yet? Read on to see how you can get a copy!

What is the tvOS Apprentice?

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.

It’s been a little under a year since we released the first edition of tvOS Apprentice, and every single chapter in this book has been updated to Swift 3 to ensure it works flawlessly with Xcode 8 and tvOS 10.

The most important update for the second edition was the upgrade from Swift 2.3 to 3, but we didn’t stop there. Apple introduced a few new APIs in tvOS 10 that we thought were critically important for anyone learning the platform. The full list of changes include:

  • A cover-to-cover update of all chapters, sample projects, and final projects to Swift 3.
  • A new chapter on PhotoKit (introduced in tvOS 10) to show great Photo Library integrations.
  • A new chapter on Multipeer Connectivity (also introduced in tvOS 10) to show how tvOS and iOS apps can better communicate with one another.
  • Inclusion of Dark Mode APIs in the UI chapters to show how your interface can better display in low light interfaces.
  • Updated all chapters to be compatible with tvOS 10, including new APIs where relevant.
  • Updated all chapters to be compatible with the Xcode 8.

This book is a whopping 27 chapters and 536 pages, covering all aspects of tvOS development from beginner to advanced. Here’s what’s inside.

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.

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 7, Hello, Traditional App: Learn how to set up a basic “Hello World” app using native libraries in Swift.
  2. Chapter 8, Basic Controls: Learn the basic controls your users can use to interact with your apps.
  3. Chapter 9, Stack Views: Stack Views are the backbone to the layout of your app – learn how to use them here.
  4. Chapter 10, Collection Views: See how easy it is to display a list of items in an engaging layout.
  5. Chapter 11, Navigation: Learn how to set up different forms of screen to screen navigation.
  6. Chapter 12, 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 13, Animation: Get ready to add some delightful animation to your tvOS apps.

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 14, User Input and the Controller: Learn how your app can interact with the new Apple TV remote.
  2. Chapter 15, 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 16, Advanced Video Playback: Learn about some of the more advanced topics in playing videos.
  4. Chapter 17, 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 18, Beginning CloudKit: Learn how to use CloudKit on tvOS to store your app’s data.
  6. Chapter 19, Advanced CloudKit: Go further in depth with CloudKit with user specific storage and error handling.
  7. Chapter 20, In App Purchase: Monetize your app by allowing users to purchase digital goods.
  8. (New!) Chapter 21, Photos Framework: Integrate with the user’s Photo Library and Videos.
  9. (New!) Chapter 22, Multipeer Connectivity: Enable your Apple TV to communicate with other pieces of Apple hardware.
  10. 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.
Chris Belanger


Chris Belanger


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