Other than big changes in how the app navigation was implemented (the current single scrollable view vs. the previous one with multiple independent views; I also tried different input modes based on the orientation of the remote), 1.0 did not gain new features compared to that initial AppLovin prototype. The prototype even had a preview of something that had to wait for the first update: As tvOS does not support EventKit and has therefor no access to calendar data, I developed a companion app for iOS that would allow to export phone/tablet calendars and sync them via iCloud. I waited with this feature mainly to see if the app itself would pass the app review process, after which I felt free to increase the complexity.
Update 1.2 became a bigger piece of work. Intended to only add a reminder to the Top Shelf items, I discovered that the memory problems I was able to circumnavigate before, reappeared with the tvOS 10.2 beta. While waiting for Apple to answer my question whether this could be a problem only observable with the beta, I started working on the next feature: custom images. As with the calendar sync or the new reminder feature, the companion app plays a major role for custom images. While it is possible to access the iCloud photo library from Apple TV, choosing and cropping images so that they fit the calendar format is much easier on iOS devices. So that’s where you can now select up to 12 images of your own.
As for the memory problem: I had to wait until the official release of 10.2 to find out that yes, extensions now seem to have less memory available to them. So for version 1.1 this meant that the Top Shelf extension would run into memory errors, resulting in everything resetting after the first item was generated. So the weather forecast and quote of the day item would never appear. I had been working on fixing this bug ever since I contacted Apple about it, but it still took me more than a week after 10.2 went public to finally fix it. Hope I did not loose too many users because of this.. Will have to see how 11.0 turns out in this regard.
My name is André Nicolai, I am a software developer living in Berlin, Germany. While I mostly work with C# and Unity 3D during my day job, I have been developing apps with Swift in my space-time, ever since it was introduced in 2014. I am notoriously bad at blogging, but I will try to keep this page up to date with the projects I am working on.