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It is possible to launch and list installed apps via the Apps interface. To use this interface, the Companion protocol must be available.

Using the Apps API

After connecting to a device, you get the apps interface via interface.AppleTV.apps:

atv = await pyatv.connect(config, ...)
apps = atv.apps

To retrieve a list of installed apps, use interface.Apps.app_list

app_list = await apps.app_list()

for app in app_list:
    print(f"Name: {}, Bundle Identifier: {app.identifier}")

To launch an app, use its bundle identifier when calling interface.Apps.launch_app

await apps.launch_app("")

To launch an app with a URL, pass the URL when calling interface.Apps.launch_app

await apps.launch_app("")

tvOS, allows deep linking into apps. So the interface.Apps.launch_app API is very powerful for navigating content on the Apple TV.

Here are some known working examples:

The simplest way to find useful deep links is to use the “Share” feature in iOS or macOS versions of the App. Share sheets will often have a “Copy” or “Copy link” feature. For apps that have a web accessible version, links copied from the browser usually work too (this is how iOS handles linking into apps from web links).

Sometimes a link copied this way will not work, but can be made to work with a slight modification, e.g. removing a country code from the URL.

If this approach fails, you can inspect the app to discover insights about supported URLs. The recommended way to support app links is by defining associated domains.

To discover domains associated with an app, list the app entitlements, then search for associated-domains within the output. You can do this using the codesign tool on macOS.

$ codesign -d --entitlements - "/path/to/"

Once potential domains are identified you can check the content of the file hosted at
https://<domain>/.well-known/apple-app-site-association. This is a file that is required to be hosted to support associated domains, and contains patterns matching URLs that the app claims to support. Check out some examples from Disney+ and Netflix.

Some apps also define a custom URL scheme, which is an alternative API for supporting app links. These can be inspected by looking at /path/to/ or /path/to/ and searching for CFBundleURLSchemes.

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