New features are coming in Roku devices. Roku’s newest free software upgrade, OS version 11.5, is rolling out “in the coming months” It adds a few features without changing the app-based menus.
The company’s simple and affordable streaming devices and TVs are appreciable. Our favorite streaming gadget is the $40 Roku Express 4K Plus. Roku’s free software upgrades have introduced password dictation and photo screensavers to existing devices.
Continue Watching lets you restart TV episodes and movies where you left off. HBO Max, Netflix, Paramount Plus, and The Roku Channel are supported initially.
Most apps, including Netflix, HBO Max, and others, already provide Continue Watching, and Roku’s largest competitors, Fire TV, Google TV, and Apple TV, showcase it prominently on their home pages. Roku’s version is harder to spot because it’s buried in the What to Watch section.
The Buzz, a new Roku home page element, combines social networking and entertainment. It’s a “regularly updated collection of content” including video, trailers, and interviews that users may “like,” save, or stream. AMC Plus, Apple TV Plus, Showtime, Starz, etc.
Roku’s voice feature will be updated. When numerous applications match a voice search, a popup shows them all and you can open “the second one.” The Live channel guide is adding Recents, Favorites, Subscribed, and genres, but it doesn’t interact with Sling TV or YouTube TV.
Updates Bluetooth Private Listening and Roku Voice. From the Sound Settings menu, you can pair wireless headphones to stream content. New Roku Ultra, Streambar, and Streambar Pro models support the feature. However, using the Roku voice control will reveal appropriate channels.
Roku’s mobile app also updated. On the mobile app remote, there’s a Live TV Channel Guide button. Moreover, the new guide button should make it easier to find live TV channels and browse live content.