Add metadata to your app to say what inputs and display sizes it supports

The appstream specification, used for appdata files for apps on Linux, supports specifying what input devices and display sizes an app requires or supports. GNOME Software 41 will hopefully be able to use that information to show whether an app supports your computer. Currently, though, almost no apps include this metadata in their appdata.xml file.

Please consider taking 5 minutes to add the information to the appdata.xml files you care about. Thanks!

If your app supports (and is tested with) touch devices, plus keyboard and mouse, add:

<recommends>
  <control>keyboard</control>
  <control>pointing</control>
  <control>touch</control>
</recommends>

If your app is only tested against keyboard and mouse, add:

<requires>
  <control>keyboard</control>
  <control>pointing</control>
</requires>

If it supports gamepads, add:

<recommends>
  <control>gamepad</control>
</recommends>

If your app is only tested on desktop screens (the majority of cases):

<requires>
  <display_length compare="ge">medium</display_length>
</requires>

If your app is adaptive and works on mobile device screens through to desktops, add:

<requires>
  <display_length compare="ge">small</display_length>
</requires>

Or, if you’ve developed your app to work at a specific size (mostly relevant for mobile devices), you can specify that explicitly:

<requires>
  <display_length compare="ge">360</display_length>
</requires>

Note that there may be updates to the definition of display_length in appstream in future for small display sizes (phones), so this might change slightly.

Another example is what I’ve added for Hitori, which supports touch and mouse input (but not keyboard input) and which works on small and large screens.

See the full specification for more unusual situations and additional examples.

1 thought on “Add metadata to your app to say what inputs and display sizes it supports

  1. DarkTrick

    This is very interesting! But I feel it might starve here. It would be nice, if one could find this in a kind of general guide for developing (gnome) apps. (Or maybe it's already there?)

    Reply

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