Support for tvOS?

Hi Folks,

Is it possible to use Juce to develop apps for tvOS?

Thanks in advance,

Pete

Hi again - just a bump - any news on tvOS support in Juce? Pete

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So… I’ve had to go ahead and create a native UI for the tvOS version of Wotja, using Swift, storyboards etc. for the front end (and with our substantial C++ engine behind the scenes - no Juce, of course). There are quite a few limitations in tvOS, mainly in regard to the way that the remote works to control the app; and the way that user focus animates. The port of our C++/Objective-C layer was really easy, as you’d expect. Shame that Juce wasn’t an option!

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Hi folks, FWIW I’ve been able to build most core Juce libraries for tvOS, using

#if TARGET_OS_TV

#else // TARGET_OS_TV

#endif // TARGET_OS_TV

Primarily: had to mess around MIDI support, and a few other changes such as no clipboard support.
I’ve not attempted any UI Controller (i.e. remote control) support!
Only took me an hour or so.

Is this something you might put in the backlog?

Best wishes,

Pete

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As a further update, I’ve even managed to the the complex animated display in Wotja tvOS working - rendered entirely from Juce (replacing my previous 100% Swift UI implementation). This is via a UIView / juce Component peer combo. NB: Didn’t require much in the way of customisation to Juce to get this to work.

On top of our custom UIView (which is hooked-up to my Juce componentry, as noted), I have some “normal” tvOS controls to manage the UI navigation and some native lists for selecting content. But, the bulk of the tvOS UI (the complex animation stuff) is now all done via Juce. Yay! :slight_smile:

So, that is great news. I’m sure we’re not the only developers who could take advantage of Juce in this way, to get great UI results on tvOS.

Best to all,

Pete

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Hi Pete,
Are you guys considering sharing with the Juce community, some of whom could possibly help edit it and get it into the Juce core code. It appears like there has been a lot of time and possibly work between your posts. If you did this work for someone else, you could suggest that putting it in Juce core is a great way to keep it up to date with Juce.
Whether you do or not, congrats on getting it working.

Hi Lob,

Thanks for reaching out.

Sure, I’m very happy to share the code. However, I’m guessing the Juce developers are just too busy to reach out.

I tend to update Juce only very rarely, as historically there are a lot of things that need fixing, and they can be quite onerous to work through. So, for example, we stuck on Juce 5.3.0 for a very long time; and I only made the move to Juce 6 a week or so ago. It has taken me that week or so to work through most of the issues.

The general things I’ve had to patch in Juce 6 are:

  • iPad split-screen / multi-tasking support; this is the one which was most fiddly to fix. I’ve already reached-out to the Juce devs offering them my code for this (iOS Multitasking - #7 by peteatjuce)
  • tvOS support - this wasn’t actually that hard to do, and probably only took me 2-3 hours or so to do yesterday. Mainly, it was about stripping-out low-level MIDI support, tweaking related to orientation handling etc… The trickiest thing was to work-out exactly how to use createNewPeer in Wotja, in combination with a hosting custom UIView… the docs weren’t great in this area! But, I got lucky and the Juce side of the UI “just worked”, which was a great feeling! Our next update will feature a completely new animation mode for Wotja tvOS, which I think looks really nice. Thanks to the Juce team for making this possible to do!
  • changes to allow adding “X” buttons to the TabBarButton buttons for desktop (surprisingly fiddly - you can look at the free Wotja for macOS/Windows to see these)
  • default font detection in macOS, which doesn’t work properly
  • some fixes to focus handling, to allow the apps to work properly on Android TV
  • I’d had to make extensive changes to 5.3.0 for viewport scrolling to work properly in list views, but I’m happy to report that is fixed in Juce 6 :slight_smile:
  • PopUp button alignment, to make sure that pop-up menus appear on screen, especially on small Android devices - quite fiddly to fix
  • some small tweaks for WatchKit extension support
  • some fairly extensive changes to get soft keyboard appear/disappear logic working properly on both iOS and Android, and to be able to pop-up a native editor activity on iOS and/or Android when required

Other things I’ve had to work hard on outside of the Juce layer are:

  • native menu handling for iOS (phone / pad), as the Juce menus are nowhere near as nice as the native ones)
  • native alert handling for iOS and macOS (as above - but this is relatively easy)
  • creation of a cross-platform navigation framework that looks quite similar to the UINavigationController stuff in iOS. If you were to download the free version of Wotja, you could see how this looks. This has been a very significant amount of work over the past few years; without it, it wouldn’t have been feasible for us to use Juce as the cross-platform layer for Wotja (before this, the Wotja UI was native Swift / Objective-C for both iOS and macOS). I chose Juce over Qt because Juce has hugely better support for Indie developers, and of course a far superior audio interfacing layer.
  • our own Android audio device adaptor, as we had a lot of problems historically with the Juce implementation wrt breaking-up etc. I don’t actually know how well the one in Juce 6 works, and will certainly investigate Oboe at some point.

Don’t get me wrong - Juce is fabulous, and has allowed us to no longer rely on our own cross-platform rendering layer. But to allow our range of apps (iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, tvOS) to work well on all platforms, has required very significant work over the years. Anyhow, we’re able to build on all that work now, and focus much more on App features rather than the lower-level stuff.

With best wishes,

Pete

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Hi @reuk,

Just found this old post of mine.

If you want my tvOS porting mods, just reach out with a DM or mail and I can send them to you!
Or, I could create a pull request if you like. Just let me know…

Best wishes,

Pete

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Thanks for the offer. The team is very busy at the moment, and supporing tvOS is not a priority for us at the moment.

It’s understandable to not support new platforms: the bandwidth needed to port every feature, test 'em all on the different models of the device(s) (eg Apple TV 4k vs HD?), integrate them into CI, regression testing on other devices… it’s a huge undertaking. Been there, done that, for most systems.

I am curious though - got any demos @peteatjuce ?

Also, how far did you get feature-wise - are things like IAP added? Is networking the same as on iOS - no new layers of security? What happens when new windows or popup menus are brought up?

Hi @jrlanglois,

Sure, absolutely. Just happy to save the Juce team a bit of effort if they wanted it :slight_smile:

Yes - you can can download the free Wotja for iOS - it has a tvOS variant. The animations you see in the tvOS app are all Juce. The menus you interactive with are all Swift / Storyboard. The whole thing is glued together using Objective-C++, as you’d expect!

Yes, IAP works on tvOS, though you have to make the purchase on the iOS or macOS side. tvOS, iOS, macOS all share the same bundle id for any given product (hence sharing IAP).

FTAOD, the interactive UI is handled by native tvOS components. The fancy UI animated background is all Juce UI.

Hoping that helps - please feel free to ask if you have any more questions!

Pete