Say hello to NotShot

According to Apple, apps are the future of television. With the release of tvOS, Apple is paving the way for personalizing TV experiences even further by introducing a range of new opportunities to combine TV screens with apps. We believe that apps will play a very important part in the future of TV, and we have already started exploring the area: We greet the new tvOS welcome with our new “just for fun” Apple TV app, NotShot.

After several years with no big updates, Apple has now launched the new Apple TV. By naming it “the new” Apple emphasizes the fact that they expect the new set of features to fundamentally change how we perceive “TV”. The most important improvement that Apple has made to the Apple TV is the fact that they have opened an API, meaning that developers can now contribute with apps. Since we are of course striving to be part of this future technology that will reach the doorsteps of the most eager customers this week, two of our developers and a former colleague have spent a few nights on developing a new tvOS app called NotShot. One of the developers behind NotShot, Ole, explains:
“ We were lucky to get a development kit for the new Apple TV before its’ release, and of course we thought: “Let’s make an app, so we’re part of the game from the beginning!”. We wanted to gain some experience with the technology. ”

What is NotShot?
The inspiration to the app came from the online gaming society where it’s extremely popular to watch games like Counter Strike live on the site Twitch. The Chrome plugin Oddshot makes it easy to capture and share these special moments of a given game and often these clips will be posted and voted up on Reddit.

Based on this game- clip- cyclus, Peter, Ole and our former colleague Casper, now at Rise Digital, built an app that basically makes a TV channel out of looping the newest and most voted gaming clips from Reddit. The NotShot app contain different channels based on clips from games such as Counter Strike, Global Offensive, Dota 2 and League of Legends and a channel with mixed content from a variety of games. Since new clips are added constantly there will be very little repetition and a lot of new content. The ambitions with NotShot was not necessarily to make the app of the year, though:
“ We’re making the app free and if it gains popularity it’s great, of course. But we would also like to add some more features to it. Enabling users to save their favorite clips, for instance, or letting them access more information about the clips they’re watching. ”

What NotShot has taught us about the new Apple TV
As mentioned, the point with developing NotShot was to gain some experience with the technology. And the developers have learned something in the process:
“ It definitely has some limitations. For instance, it can’t render HTML content, so you cannot make an app that include web technologies. But you also have to consider the context people will use your app in. Because tvOS apps will primarily live on a big screen in people’s living rooms, we expect the best apps to be those who can entertain multiple people sitting in the couch. This is very different from apps on a smartphone. ”
NotShot is not built to revolutionize the world, but the question is, if that’s what the new Apple TV will do. As Apple encourage developers to create apps for the tvOS it is very much up to creative people and developers to explore the possibilities of the platform.


02 Nov 2015