Roku announces release of OS 11
By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links
Roku has announced that Version 11 of its operation system will be available in the coming weeks.
Roku OS 11 brings personalization to the forefront of the user’s streaming experience with the launch of Roku Photo Streams, a new way to enjoy and share favorite photos.
Additionally, with Roku OS 11, users will experience expanded content discovery menu options, auto speech clarity, new sound modes, a super-charged mobile app and other features.
Roku Photo Streams enables users to customize their Roku experience by creating a personalized screensaver using their own photos. Similar features have been included in competitor products, including Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV for years.
To do so, users can simply upload images directly to their Roku devices through their desktop or mobile phone and set them as screensavers, turning the biggest screen in the home into a digital photo frame, language that appears to be a nod to Samsung’s The Frame product that doubles as a TV and digital frame (it’s worth noting, however, that most consumer-grade TVs aren’t rated for being left on for extended periods of time as one might do with a digital picture frame).
Users can easily upload and share streams with other Roku users so they will appear on their Roku devices as well. Once a stream is shared, friends and family can also add their photos to the same stream, creating a shared experience.
“At Roku, we are laser-focused on tailoring the streaming and visual experience to fit our customers’ personal preferences,” said Gidon Katz, senior vice president of product and experience at Roku in a statement. “We recognize not everyone interacts with their TV in the same way, so we are proud to offer a platform full of choice, while simultaneously providing our users an easy-to-use experience. With Roku OS 11, we’re offering a platform with new personalized updates across search, audio, content discovery along with a new feature that allows our customers to display and even share photo albums through Roku devices.”
Additional noteworthy Roku OS 11 features coming to Roku devices include:
- Automatic Speech Clarity and Sound Modes: Roku strives to deliver the best sound, always. Now available for Roku audio products, Roku’s new automatic speech clarity setting dynamically identifies and amplifies dialogue, so you don’t miss a word.
- New Sound Modes for Roku Streambar and Speakers products: Choose the optimal settings for whatever you’re streaming. Our new sound modes, Standard, Dialogue, Movie, Music, and Night are easily accessed by pressing the star button * on your Roku remote or through the Roku mobile app and are tailored for different viewing scenarios to ensure the best audio experience.
- A/V Sync: Roku is expanding A/V sync to supported player and audio devices with a simple calibration tool within the Roku Mobile app, syncing audio with the action on the screen. This feature is available when you have a player or Streambar device connected to the Roku mobile app and is accessible within the settings menu.
- What to Watch on Home Screen Menu: What to Watch is a new destination added to the Home Screen Menu, leading to movies and TV shows from a variety of streaming channels, including those users most frequently interact with. What to Watch provides easy access, a personalized selection of new titles that were recently added, recommendations for users based on popular and trending content, and so much more.
- Live TV on Home Screen Menu – In January, we added a Live TV Zone on the Home Screen Menu giving users easy access to free live and linear content from The Roku Channel as well as cable alternatives, including Hulu, fuboTV, Philo, Sling, and YouTube TV, to name a few. With Roku OS 11, you will be able to see your recently watched live tv content and discover the latest in local and national news, sports, movies, and more in the Live TV section now located on the Home Screen Menu.
- Voice Enabled Keyboard: Roku Voice simplifies device setup and channel login for supported apps by allowing users to enter email, password, and PIN information with their voice. With OS 11, voice-enabled keyboards will be available in Spanish, German, and Portuguese in the U.S. and supported countries. Comcast’s Xfinity cable remotes as well as Apple and Amazon streaming products have all featured voice activated features for years as well, including integration with Siri and Alexa, respectively. These platforms also offer significantly deeper voice options, including natural language processing to locate content and change settings.
- Mobile Content Details: With OS 11, the free Roku mobile app will provide users with a more visual experience when searching on the platform. New visual elements with OS 11 provides additional information about where to stream movies and TV shows, highlighting which channels are streaming the content for free or where it can be streamed within existing subscriptions, allowing everyone to get more out of the channels they are paying for. The new content details on the mobile app also show visual images of the cast and crew to assist with choosing what to watch. All of these updates are the perfect match to the recently added Save List, which allows you to save movies and TV shows while on the go so that you can stream them when you’re back home and ready to watch.
Roku OS 11 is expected to roll out to supported Roku streaming players, Roku TV models and peripherals over the coming weeks.