Universal Search support in tvOS
Universal Search is an Apple TV feature that enables content to be searched for via text or Siri without having to be within a specific app. The search entry and results presentation is handled by the native tvOS UI. Users can then select the content and the relevant app will launch.
Universal Search is not a simple feature enablement.
Applicaster has integrated the necessary deep linking API into the iOS and tvOS SDK. However, Universal Search requires significant requirements to be in place at the customer's side, to implement it end-to-end.
Any Universal Search customer implementation will need to be a joint development between Applicaster and Customer to put in place, test, and release the entire process.
Apple TV Universal Search Support Documentation:
Note: This documentation does not replace the full and confidential Apple TV Universal Search support documentation that is available to registered users at iTunes Connect:
There are many documents there that need to be followed for a customer to implement Universla Search. The steps below are intended to give an indication of the process a customer must follow.
To integrate with Apple TV app and Universal Search, a customer must:
- Have their app available on both tvOS and iOS apps
- Offer long form, stand-alone content (such as movies) and/or episodic content (such as TV shows)
- Be able to provide rich metadata for all long form, stand-alone and/or episodic content available in the app
- Be able to provide artwork to Apple specifications for content in the application that is not available from any other provider in a given country
- Be prepared to submit builds to Apple’s various testing teams via TestFlight
Universal Search support phases
There are a number of phases to achieving support for Universal Search. These phases are all the responsibility of the customer to fulfil.
The following is an abridged version of Apple’s introductory information. A number of supporting documents that go into deep detail are available at:
- Customer must register their app as a brand with Apple
- A search brand is a set of VOD services that can be grouped under a single marketing entity.
- The Catalog Feed includes factual information for the content available in the app (such as Title, Description, Release Date, and Cover Artwork). Artwork must be provided in the required Apple format
- The Availability Feed describes how (via deep links) and when (via window definitions and restrictions) a user can access content from the Catalog Feed.
- Provide Feed URLs for Apple to validate the feed content and structure and provide a fix list if necessary
From these steps above it can be seen that implementing Universal Search requires significant time (order of many weeks) for technical integration, testing, and approval by Apple before roll-out can be performed.