Build Expo apps for TV

A guide for building an Expo app for an Android TV or Apple TV target.

TV development is available only in SDK 50 and later, and is still considered experimental. Not all Expo features and SDK modules are available on TV.

React Native is supported on Android TV and Apple TV through the React Native TV project. This technology extends beyond TV, offering a comprehensive core repo fork with support for phone and TV targets, including Hermes and Fabric.

Using the React Native TV library as the react-native dependency in an Expo project, it becomes capable of targeting both mobile (Android, iOS) and TV (Android TV, Apple TV) devices.

The necessary changes to the native Android and iOS files are minimal and can be automated with a config plugin if you use prebuild. Below is a list of changes made by the config plugins, which you can alternatively apply manually:

  • Android:
    • AndroidManifest.xml is modified:
      • The default phone portrait orientation is removed
      • The required intent for TV apps is added
    • MainApplication.kt is modified to remove unsupported Flipper invocations
  • iOS:
    • ios/Podfile is modified to target tvOS instead of iOS
    • The Xcode project is modified to target tvOS instead of iOS
    • The splash screen (SplashScreen.storyboard) is modified to work on tvOS

Quick start

The fastest way to generate a new project is described in the TV Example within the Expo examples repository.

Integration with an existing Expo project

If you have an existing Expo project, the following walkthrough describes the steps required to modify an Expo project for TV.

You will need:

  • An Expo project using SDK 50 or later.
  • Android TV:
    • In the Android Studio SDK manager, select the dropdown for the Android SDK you are using (API version 31 or later), and make sure an Android TV system image is selected for installation. (For Apple silicon, choose the ARM 64 image. Otherwise, choose the Intel x86_64 image).
    • After installing the Android TV system image, create an Android TV emulator using that image (the process is the same as creating an Android phone emulator).
  • Apple TV:
    • Xcode 15 or later.
    • tvOS SDK 17 or later. (This is not installed automatically with Xcode. You can install it later with xcodebuild -downloadAllPlatforms).
If you are starting with an SDK 49 project, you will need to upgrade to SDK 50 or higher before proceeding through the following steps.

Supported modules

At this time, TV applications work with the following packages and APIs listed in our Expo API docs.

TV also works with react-navigation, react-native-video, and many other commonly used third-party React Native libraries.


Certain Expo packages are not supported at this time, most notably:


Modify dependencies for TV

In package.json, modify the react-native dependency to use the TV repo, and exclude this dependency from npx expo install version validation.

  %%placeholder-start%%... your existing package.json %%placeholder-end%%
  "dependencies": {
    %%placeholder-start%%... your existing dependencies %%placeholder-end%%
    "react-native": "npm:react-native-tvos",
    %%placeholder-start%%... %%placeholder-end%%
  "expo": {
    "install": {
      "exclude": [


Add the TV config plugin

npx expo install --dev @react-native-tvos/config-tv

When installed, the plugin will modify the project for TV when either:

  • The environment variable EXPO_TV is set to 1
  • The plugin parameter isTV is set to true

Verify that this plugin appears in app.json:

  "plugins": [

To see additional information on the plugin's actions during prebuild, you can set debug environment variables before running prebuild. (See also our documentation on Expo CLI environment variables.)

# See all Expo CLI and config plugin debug informationexport DEBUG=expo:*
# See only debug information for the TV pluginexport DEBUG=expo:react-native-tvos:config-tv


Run prebuild

Set the EXPO_TV environment variable, and run prebuild to make the TV modifications to the project.

export EXPO_TV=1npx expo prebuild --clean

Note: The --clean argument is recommended, and is required if you have existing Android and iOS directories in the project.


Build for Android TV

Start an Android TV emulator and use the following command to start the app on the emulator:

npx expo run:android


Build for Apple TV

Run the following command to build and run the app on an Apple TV simulator:

npx expo run:ios


Revert TV changes and build for phone

You can revert the changes for TV and go back to phone development by unsetting EXPO_TV and running prebuild again:

unset EXPO_TVnpx expo prebuild --clean


Create EAS Build profiles for both TV and phone

Since the TV build is driven by the value of an environment variable, it is easy to set up EAS Build profiles that build from the same source but target TV instead of phone.

The following example eas.json shows how to extend existing profiles (development and preview) to create TV profiles (development_tv and preview_tv).

  "cli": {
    "version": ">= 5.2.0"
  "build": {
    "base": {
      "distribution": "internal",
      "ios": {
        "simulator": true
      "android": {
        "buildType": "apk",
        "withoutCredentials": true
      "channel": "base"
    "development": {
      "extends": "base",
      "android": {
        "gradleCommand": ":app:assembleDebug"
      "ios": {
        "buildConfiguration": "Debug"
      "channel": "development"
    "development_tv": {
      "extends": "development",
      "env": {
        "EXPO_TV": "1"
      "channel": "development"
    "preview": {
      "extends": "base",
      "channel": "preview"
    "preview_tv": {
      "extends": "preview",
      "env": {
        "EXPO_TV": "1"
      "channel": "preview"
  "submit": {}



A complete example is available on GitHub.