InfernoRed Blog

Xamarin.Forms: A Fire TV Quick Start

Posted by Ed Buhain on Apr 28, 2017 10:13:11 AM


How hard is it for a .NET developer to build a Fire TV app with C#? With the right tools, it's pretty easy; a Fire TV app is just an Android app optimized for viewing on a TV.

Since .NET's inception, my language of choice has been C#. For the C# developer, Xamarin is a useful tool for deployment to more than one platform, such as Windows, Android, iOS, or in our case, Fire TV. With Xamarin, we can build one set of back-end tests and code in C# and share the same code among all of those platforms.

Xamarin.Forms provides even more shared functionality: with Xamarin.Forms, we can even build our views using a set of controls common to all of our target platforms.

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Topics: Xamarin, Android, Fire TV

Customizing the UI for Fire TV (and Android TV)

Posted by Pamela Vong on Apr 20, 2017 3:01:10 PM

Why would you want to build apps for Fire TV? Well, Roku may be the current leader in the market for streaming TV boxes, but Amazon Fire TV's share of the market isn't too far behind at 2nd place based on data collected from comScore as of December 2016.[1] And like other Amazon Fire OS devices, Fire TV is built on top of Android, so we can leverage most of the existing Android libraries and tools to build our TV apps, making them useable on both Fire TV and Android TV devices!

If you've used a lot of Fire TV apps before, you may have noticed many of them have a very similar look-and-feel. This is because many (if not all) of them have built their apps on top of the Android Leanback support library, so they usually end up looking similar to this out-of-the-box design:

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Topics: Android, Fire TV, Android TV, Leanback, UI, Java

Obfuscating Shared Preferences in Fire TV Apps

Posted by Ed Buhain on Apr 11, 2017 9:58:48 AM


What's the best way to keep secure data in our local Android or Fire TV shared preferences? Well, don't do it. If someone's curious enough, it's not too hard to dig into the Android file system to look at a particular app's preferences.

What could we do to keep curious users from breaking our app by tampering with the settings? Perhaps we could make it a little less convenient to inspect or modify the settings.

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Topics: Android, Fire TV

Abstracting Analytics: RxJava Observers in TV Apps

Posted by Ed Buhain on Apr 7, 2017 11:25:30 AM


Sometimes analytics are nice to have. Sometimes they're critical, like in our Fire TV apps we just published on Amazon.

Content providers and distributors are always negotiating who can show what content (and for how much). However, I imagine it's much harder to turn down the content that we, the viewers, find most valuable. Analytics are one way to find out what shows we're really watching; without analytics, it's possible that some of our favorites, like Firefly, could be cancelled after only one season!

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Topics: Fire TV, Java