Today, Roku announced that OS 9.4 will begin rolling out to Roku devices in the coming weeks. With this update, Roku users will find new ways to access their favorite content along with even more free content and will see improvements in their Roku device’s performance
“The Roku OS allows consumers to easily get to the content they want to watch so they can sit back and enjoy the show,” said Ilya Asnis, senior vice president of Roku OS at Roku. “With Roku OS 9.4, we give our customers even more choice and new ways to navigate and control content-rich experiences on and off Roku devices.”
What will you see with the 9.4 update? To start, you should notice faster setup times when turning on your device, installing apps, and setting up your Roku. The update also brings faster launch times for top channels and faster video start times. Also helping with performance and navigation are new Roku voice controls. Now, helpful hints will appear on your screen to let you know about voice commands you can use to find and launch your favorite content more quickly.
Along with performance improvements, the Roku team has balanced work and fun by developing Theme Packs. Theme Packs allow Roku users to update and customize their home screens and screensavers with new themes including Jungle, Western, Nautical, Kids, and more. As a new feature, the themes will include audio. When you click on on a menu in the Nautical theme, for example, you’ll hear bubbles instead of the traditional Roku click.
Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit
Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit capabilities on select 4K Roku devices are expected to come later this year. With AirPlay 2, Roku customers can stream, control, and share content directly from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to a supported Roku device to enjoy on a larger screen. . HomeKit allows customers to easily and securely control their Roku device using the Home app and Siri on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, or HomePod.
Live TV Channel Guide
Roku TV users can now access The Roku Channel’s Live TV Channel Guide directly from the home screen. Just select the “Live TV” input tile on the Roku home screen and access more than 115 free live streaming channels from The Roku Channel. And, if you use an antenna, you’ll have one-click access to a combined program guide featuring the free live streaming channels as well as over-the-air broadcast channel.
You may remember the OTA channels and Roku Channel content combination being launched this summer. At the time, Roku users seemed split, with half enjoying having all their free content available in one guide and others finding a guide with so much content to be too much. Roku has now updated the feature with the ability to hide the streaming channel from the guide, allowing a user to go back to seeing only their antenna channels.
Roku OS 9.4 will begin rolling out to select Roku players this month and is expected to roll out to all supported streaming players, including the all-new Roku Ultra and Roku Streambar, in the coming weeks. Roku TV models are expected to receive the update in phases over the coming months.