Last month we made an awesome update to our popular Roku mobile app for iOS® and Android™ devices. I personally love this update because it makes it super easy to find something to watch and makes the streaming experience that much smoother.

Just in case you haven’t had a chance to check it out, here are my three favorite things it can do. We really pay attention to what our customers say so if you won’t take my word for it, I’ve included some comments users posted with their app reviews!

#1 Swipe, Speak & Type: Searching for a movie or TV show with a long title or typing in your email address can be painful to do on the remote. Enter the mobile app’s keyboard which let’s you type things in quickly. Or you can use your voice to search for great entertainment. The remote also has a touch pad setting so you can navigate with a swipe.

From our users:

“I can’t find my Roku remote, so I downloaded the app & I love it! I actually like using it better than the remote, it’s easier to navigate & type.”

“The app worked well before but didn’t have the best interface. It’s so pretty now. New design also let’s you change the remote style to more of a swipe layout. Anyway, it’s even more functional and beautiful! Thank you for this update.”

#2 Discover Something New (and Free!): The What’s On tab features collections (everything from New Free Movies and Favorite Kids’ Shows to Top Action Films) that highlight great movies and TV shows. Whether you’re 8 or 80, you can find something new to stream. The collections are updated regularly every week so keep coming back for new suggestions!

From our users:

“Last night I clicked on Whats On & got good suggestions, then it takes you right to it! I can’t see how they could improve it any more than this. Thanks Roku!”

#3 Stream in Silence: Private listening has been a beloved feature for a while, but now everyone can use it thanks to the new mobile app. Just plug your headphones into your phone, launch the Roku mobile app, and stream away. (Find more details here.)

Don’t have the free Roku mobile app yet? Download it now for iOS® and Android™.

About Matthew Wee

Senior Product Manager, Roku
Posted in Android, iOS, Mobile Apps | Tagged , , , |
25 Comments
  • Tale 85

    Absolutely, a great update. Now if we could just browse without having to be linked to a Roku. It would nice to plan what to watch while on the move.

    • Thanks for the suggestion – we will pass it on to the mobile team. Happy streaming!

    • Yeah, that’s the biggest problem with the app — you can’t use search when not connected to a device.

  • JS

    Can you please make the app available outside the USA.

  • Yonatan Ben Magen

    Hate having my theme changed at Roku whim, I like the Nebula theme and want a choice to lock a theme, ad box to the rigjt right is fine but leave my background theme alone and ad free, I returned a Roku Premier+ because of it and that you can only control volume of the remote but not your monitor/tv, but I can on my Sharp Roku tv.

    Bring Night listening mode (loudness/softness balancing) to the Roku OS 7.X update or 8.x OS update, its odd that you(Roku) cana control and change this audio signal sent over HDMI but not outright Volume control and mute.

    • Go to Settings –> Themes –> Custom Settings to disable the “Featured Themes”.

      I wish they’d add some of the featured themes as regular themes.

      • Yonatan Ben Magen

        Thanks it pays to speak up sometimes,

        now to get Roku to code Night listening mode for all recent device’s and add volume control for more than the TVs and the remote’s headphone jack

  • Melanie Russell

    I wish there was a way to ‘name’ the Roku. I have 3 Rokus, different model numbers. It would be great to name one Roku ‘Living Room’, etc. BUT, I am still grateful for the App I had to use it yesterday, I had a ‘Senior Moment’ when I had put my remote down, and forgot where it was.

    • Florence G Howard

      You can I have three rokus myself, and that what I did!

      • Melanie Russell

        How did you do it?

      • Melanie Russell

        disregard my question…I went to Roku web site, signed in, navigated to ‘rename my remote’, did that, then checked on my phone. i had to do the same thing with the phone, navigate to the web site. I could have done that first..lol. BUT, I managed to rename the Roku! Thanks

  • Juan Cachada

    kodi in roku please

  • Willem Kraal

    Oh why did Roku leave DirecttvNow out in the dark???

    • Services are responsible for having their own channels developed. Roku is just a platform. Perhaps you haven’t heard about DirecTV Now’s continuing early problems? I expect like PS Vue, a Roku channel will become available as the service matures.

      Out of curiosity, what is it about DirectTV Now that makes it more attractive to you than PlayStation Vue or Sling TV?

      • Willem

        Oh thanks for asking.I got DirecttvNow for several reasons,i wanted a lineup that included the BBC ,MSNBC and CNN and ofcourse the free Apple TV was great plus the price about 100 stations for $35.00 per month and no church/jezus bs stations with begging pornopreachers ,all that was a great deal for me.
        I am aware of various problems re performance of DirecttvNow but overal im very satisfied.I did own two older Rokus and did order the latest Roku Premiere?? but when i found out no DirecttvNow App was available i was able to return it.Ok i hope this answers your question.

  • Greg

    Not sure if this is available or not but when searching for a movie or tv show it would be nice if Roku showed “all” channels that the movies or shows are available on not just the paid or most popular channels. I’ll search for a movie and it comes up with channels that have it (e.g. Hulu, Netflix, etc.) but then find out later that is playing for free on another channel.

    • Yes, only some channels participate in Roku search. In the US that’s about 100 currently. In other countries it’s far fewer.
      https://support.roku.com/article/235044948-roku-search-partners

      Some channel developers choose to implement deep-linking in their channel and commit to providing up-to-date meta-data for their currently available movies and TV episodes and others don’t.

  • Apis Bull

    Any idea if this will be usable on a ROKU 3, since I cant get any of the new boxes yet over in the UK. (not sure when I can yet either)
    (specially since I broke my remote with the headset port, out of warranty sadly)

    • Private listening for the Roku 3 is only available through the (physical) remote (and I’d really like to hear what was changed to allow it to work via the app for the Roku Express line). The other two features should be available.

      • Apis Bull

        Yeah its a nice feature if have to say I do miss it. Worked surprising well, might have to get the old roku stick and try it via the app.

  • Brian Mace

    Three things I wish I could do with the new Roku App:

    1. Cast video files I synced to my iPhone/iPad using iTunes. The Roku app allows casting of video files stored in the iOS photo library, but not those synced to an iOS device from an iTunes video library (previously available using the iOS Videos app, currently the TV app).

    2. Cast videos I downloaded to my iPhone/iPad using the relatively new Netflix and/or Amazon Videos download features. I know, I know, the Roku is a streaming device. However, it is easy to setup a wifi network these days in places where you may not have internet access. It would be nice to be able to cast to a larger screen when internet is not available to stream the content directly.

    3. Cast media stored on my SanDisk iXPAND drive.

    • 1) I can use Plex (www.plex.tv) to do that sort of thing. You can cast videos that are accessible from your local server (after launching the Plex channel, via the Roku app or otherwise), but I haven’t tried casting a video synced to my iPhone to a Roku while the server wasn’t available (mobile syncing in Plex is a premium feature).

      2) Apps like Netflix and Amazon use DRM, so downloaded videos are locked to the device to which they were downloaded. Have you heard of PlayOn (www.playon.tv)? It provides a way to get around that.

      3) The Roku model you have isn’t one with a USB port? (Not that using the USB port provides the best experience…)

  • Nick Bellows

    The “What’s On” feature is not working the way it had been. It now wants me to log in to see my feed. This is not nearly as helpful as the suggestions “What’s On” was giving me. Am I missing something here?

  • Byron Brown

    I’m dissapointrd by this update, I preferred being able to use the show search function inside the app.