Google announces new design language and tools for TV apps

Mike Wheatley

Google announced it's introducing a new design language for Google TV and Android TV applications, plus a new toolkit that will make them easier for developers to design and create.


The announcements came at Google I/O 2023 this week, and represent the company’s vision for television apps of the future, particularly around their look and feel.

Some were hoping Google might announce an upgraded Chromecast device or something big relating to Google TV, but the company chose instead to focus on application design. The new language is similar to Google’s “Material You” design language for Android mobile apps, and is focused on the concept of rounded cards and easy-to-navigate content grids.

Google said it provides a “modern Material 3 look” for TV applications, with the language covering typography, navigation, colour, layout and other design elements. In essence, it makes third-party apps look and feel a lot more like the Google TV homescreen.


While developers are still free to design their application’s user interface as they want, Google clearly hopes the design guidelines will come to represent the kind of default style of Google TV apps.

Together with the new design guidelines, Google announced a new “Compose for TV” developer tool that’s now available in Alpha. Paul Lammertsma, Developer Relations Engineer at Google, said it serves as a user interface framework for building “beautiful and functional” TV applications that fit with the new design language. It’s based on Jetpack Compose, and can help developers to create TV apps with less code and less maintenance.


Danny Preussler, who serves as Android Platform Lead at Soundcloud, said the new framework is helpful in streamlining app development. “Thanks to Compose for TV, we are able to reuse components and move much faster than the old Leanback View APIs would have ever allowed us to,” he said.