Roku recently announced that its users will get new features on their devices “in the coming weeks.” The newest Roku update will give you new voice command options, customizations, and improvements to the overall performance of your device, especially if you have an older model. Here are all the new features that you will soon be able to enjoy and how to manually update your Roku device.
Searching for Content Will be Easier with ‘Roku Voice’
Roku is making it easier for you to search for new content with voice commands. With the new Roku Voice features, you will soon be able to watch live news on ABC by simply saying, “play me the news.” Or, if you want to go to a specific channel, like Fox News, you can say, “play the news on Fox News,” and the app will automatically open.
When you use Roku Voice to search for content, your movies and TV shows will soon be displayed in categorized rows, making it easier for you to browse. There will also be more than 50 streaming channels that will instantly play a show or movie when you use Roku Voice, instead of just showing search results.
You can even use Roku Voice to search for movies by saying popular quotes. According to TechRadar, Roku says that this feature will use a database of movie quotes from well-known titles. So, for example, you can tell Roku to find movies with the quote “shaken, not stirred” to find James Bond films.
To use the new Roku Voice features, however, you will need a Roku remote with a microphone button. Or, you can connect your Roku device to a smart speaker to use voice commands as well.
New Themes Let You Customize Your Device
If you’re sick of seeing purple every time you use your Roku device, you will soon be able to customize your streaming experience. This Roku update will include a new Theme menu under Settings, where you can choose from different theme packs that include new wallpapers and screensavers.
An Improved Mobile App
The free Roku mobile app is also set to be updated, starting with a sleek redesign. A navigation bar on top of the screen will soon include Roku Search. There will also be a new drop-down menu that shows you all your Roku devices. With this feature, you will be able to quickly switch between Roku devices using your mobile app.
The app will also feature a shortcut to the remote screen, where you will be able to see quick-access icons for mobile app features. For example, your recently viewed channels will be shown on the same display as your remote. This will allow you to quickly switch between channels without exiting the remote screen.
A Smarter Roku Soundbar
If you’re using a Roku Smart Soundbar, you will soon be able to adjust your soundbar using your TV. With this feature, you won’t have to toggle between remotes to adjust your audio.
In the Roku TV Settings Menu, you will also be able to pair your smartphone or other Roku audio devices to your soundbar for audio playback. For example, you’ll be able to use your Roku Wireless Subwoofer via Bluetooth for better sound quality while you watch movies.
An Overall Performance Boost
Last but not least, Roku says the update will improve the performance of your devices, especially older devices. While most system upgrades usually end up slowing down older devices, Roku says this update will give you faster load times for a wide variety of channels and a more responsive home screen.
How to Manually Update Your Roku Device
While your Roku player will install updates automatically, you can also update your device manually by pressing the Home button on your remote. Then go to Settings > System > System update and select Check now.
- On your Roku remote, press the Home button. This is the button with a little house icon on the upper right part of your remote.
- Scroll down to Settings.
- Then press the right arrow button. A menu will appear to the right.
- Then go to System.
- Next, scroll down to System update and press OK. You will be shown your current Roku software version, and when you last updated your system.
- Finally, select Check now.
If you are having problems with your Roku remote, check out our guide on how to pair your Roku remote here.