In early October 2018, Roku announced a new update to their Roku OS. This Roku OS 9 update brought a host of under-the-hood updates to improve streaming. Now we have been able to get our hands on the Roku OS 9 update on our 2018 Roku Premiere.
Here is our first look at the Roku OS 9 update:
Here are my quick thoughts after testing our Roku OS 9:
There seems to be a slight improvement in performance, especially when restarting the Roku. Beyond that, most of the update are features Roku channels will need to add to take advantage of. Yet other features like Spotify are great.
Roku loves to hide new features in their updates. Keep an eye open for new Roku OS 9 features they didn’t disclose.
Here is everything Roku officially announced with the Roku OS 9 update:
NEW FEATURES Across the ROKU PLATFORM
- Google Assistant – Soon, you’ll be able to use Google Assistant devices to control select Roku streaming devices to pause and search for content and launch channels. Additionally, Roku TV owners can turn their TV on and off, turn up the volume, mute, switch inputs, and change channels if there is an OTA antenna connected.
- Pandora Premium support – With Pandora Premium, listeners can search and play any song, album, or featured playlist, with the option to create their own, and access personalized soundtracks based on changing moods. Available now via the Pandora channel in the Roku Channel Store.
Roku OS 8.2 for Roku TVs and ROKU TV WIRELESS SPEAKERS
- Access and control iHeartRadio, Pandora, and TuneIn by voice – Launch live radio stations from across the country, podcasts, custom artist stations, and more with iHeartRadio; playlists, podcasts, stations and more via Pandora; and live radio stations, play-by-play sports, and news with TuneIn. Use simple voice commands with Roku voice remotes, Roku Touch, or the Roku mobile app. Subscriptions not required and premium features available with upgraded services.
- Automatic Volume Leveling – Automatic Volume Leveling enables a uniform audio level across various types of content, so it will no longer feel jarring when a commercial comes on or when streaming channels are changed. Night mode lowers the volume level for louder scenes and boosts it for quieter ones. The volume mode setting will be accessible by pressing the star button during video playback when Roku TV Wireless Speakers are connected to a Roku TV.
- Speech Clarity – This feature looks for voice frequencies and boosts them to address intelligibility. Speech Clarity will be available via the star menu when Roku TV Wireless Speakers are connected to a Roku TV.
- Spotify – Spotify is the world’s most popular music streaming service. Discover, manage, and share over 35M songs for free, or upgrade to Spotify Premium to access exclusive features including offline mode, improved sound quality, Spotify Connect, and ad-free listening. Roku customers will be able to launch and navigate the channel using a Roku remote or via Spotify Connect on a laptop, tablet, or mobile phone.
It will take weeks for all current Roku Players to update to Roku OS 9. Do not worry if your Roku does not update to Roku OS 9 when you try to run a manual update.
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