New Roku iOS and Android apps are now available, making it easier to navigate, search, find content, and do away with the remote control.
Roku makes some of the best streaming devices currently available on the market and its accompanying mobile app plays a big role in the overall experience. That's why Roku has updated both its iOS and Android apps to further enhance functionality and make it even more useful.
Roku streaming media players and smart TVs enjoy a vast monthly user base of roughly 13 million people, and the companion app was designed to neatly complement the hardware. The previous version of the app, however, was much simpler, offering an interface with vertical buttons for remote, search, feed, the Channel Store, and casting with "Play on Roku." The updated version now takes things to the next level.
New Roku Mobile App: Improved Navigation
With the latest version of the Roku mobile app, the navigation bar now stretches across the bottom of the app, bringing a number of useful shortcuts to simplify navigation. From left to right, these shortcuts include Channels, a new section called "What's On," Remote, "Photos+" and Settings.
Upon launching the new app, users will see a list of all channels they have installed. Tapping on a channel will immediately prompt the remote to appear, so they can keep navigating to what they want to watch. The Channel Store, meanwhile, is available in a separate tab.
Roku What's On
The new What's On section basically replaces the previous "My Feed" button, but with a twist. My Feed allowed users to keep track of their favorite movies and TV shows, offering notifications whenever new episodes became available.
What's On, however, now focuses on more generalized suggestions, offering curated lists of top content available to purchase, rent or stream for free. The new section also bundles content based on theme, such as top shows for kids, superhero movies or others. The section still has a My Feed subsection, now located toward the bottom.
Simply put, while My Feed makes it easy for users to customize their experience and keep track of their shows, What's On favors discovery and makes it easier to find new content they'd be interested in.
The new What's On section should be quite useful for more indecisive users who are not sure what to watch and need some suggestions to make up their minds.
Updated Roku Mobile Remote
Roku has also updated the mobile remote so that it looks more like a real remote when it comes to the button layout. The new design makes it easier to use one-handedly, as the buttons and directional pad are now closer together. Roku also added a new channels icon at the top, making it easier to move from one channel to another without having to switch screens.
Lastly, the Photos+ section allows users to quickly share photos, videos or movies from their library to Roku, or create a customized screensaver using their content.
"The FREE Roku mobile app comes packed with useful features that are sure to make your phone a great addition to movie night," touts Roku. "You can use it as a remote control, plug-in headphones for private listening, search for movies, shows and more with a keyboard or your voice, and share your own videos, music, and photos to your TV."
The new Roku mobile app (v4.0) rolled out on Jan. 17 and it's available for iOS and Android. If you have already tried it out, drop by our comments section and tell us what you think of the new experience.