Tangram for Apple TV

Tim Johnsen
Oct 30, 2015 · 2 min read

When Apple announced the new Apple TV earlier this year at their September event, I was thrilled. The new Apple TV shows massive promise as a new platform, and I wanted to build something for it. Today I’m happy to announce Tangram, an Instagram client for the Apple TV.

This is what the home feed looks like:

This is what a post looks like:

Here’s a user’s profile:

And search:

I found tvOS and the Instagram API both wonderful to work with, so building this app was an absolute joy. Developing for tvOS feels just like developing an iOS app without the cruft that’s accumulated over the past 9 years.

Developing Tangram presented a couple interesting technical challenges. Most notably, tvOS comes with no web view support (at least no public web view support). Authentication with the Instagram API occurs through OAuth, which requires the web. To work around this, when authenticating with Tangram you actually sign in on your phone or computer and then are given a pin code to enter.

This is similar to what you see in some apps on the existing Apple TV.

Something to note, Tangram does not support liking photos, leaving comments, or following users. Instagram removed the ability to do these things from their API for apps like Tangram some time in the past. I have some ideas about how to improve here in the next few releases, but for the time being Tangram is only an Instagram viewer.

I’d love to know what you think! Tangram is available for download in the App Store on the new Apple TV.

Update: Tangram was renamed Tangent to satisfy Instagram’s platform policy.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store