OK Google, Launch the Roku Channel!

Soon Roku TVs and streamers will work with Google Assistant devices as the search-engine giant extends its support to Roku devices.

Ok Google
Google Assistant: Roku’s New Listener

Very soon you can communicate with Roku using Google Assistant speakers. Roku’s strategy is coming into focus as it wins a new listener, none other than our very own­ – Google.

Further revealing its plans, it announced Google Assistant’s arrival to its devices through a software update in the upcoming weeks.

Which means that shortly you will be able to rheostat your Roku-identified streaming gadget via stating a voice command into your Google Assistant app on your phone or Google Home speaker, with similar functions landing on televisions that run the Roku operating system.

Those with a Roku streaming device will be enabled to pause and play videos, launch channels, and search for content, whereas for the ones with a Roku TV will be able to alter the volume, turn their TV on and off, switch inputs, and change channels.

Voice War

This one is a noteworthy update from Roku and this may also surprise some, citing the fact that Roku already offers certain voice-control smarts of its own via the Roku mobile phone app or its voice remote. Additionally, Roku not long ago announced its plans to launch a worthy rival to the preference of Alexa and Google Assistant with its own gadget Roku Entertainment Assistant. It seems that this isn’t in ripe conditions in the given situation, however, its launch was scheduled somewhere near this fall. The company is further visualizing to launch Roku-branded wireless speakers very soon.

Ilya Asnis, senior vice president of Roku OS said, “As we broaden the Roku ecosystem, allowing consumers to add new devices to their home entertainment networks, we are in a unique position that is unlike any other TV streaming platform. Our single operating system running across Roku TVs and Roku TV wireless speakers gives us the ability to innovate how consumers experience audio and entertainment in their homes.”

In the other news related to Roku, the company proclaimed that it would support Spotify once again, after the music streaming giant citing poor user experience pulled its app last year. Plus, Roku will also support Pandora Premium subscriptions, after being limited to the free ad-supported incarnation and Pandora Plus.

Roku announced additional extras in addition to a pair of new streamers, bringing its lineup to 7 strong, coming to its players and TVs, including:

  1. Voice control for iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and, Pandora – voice commands will enable the users to launch artist stations, radio stations, and podcasts from these 3 free services.
  2. Spotify – absent from Roku’s platform for nine months, the music service’s official app will make a comeback in November, equipped with Spotify Connect.
  3. Automatic Volume Controlling – The sound from a Roku TV or streamer will be automatically evened out during a commercial break.
  4. “Free” genre voice search – Compiling Roku’s concentration on stuff that you need not pay for, with voice commands like “show me free comedies”, users have an easy access to free content.

Ultimately, Roku also announced a few new devices, including Roku Premiere­+ 4k streaming players and Roku Premiere, starting at the nominal price of $40.

However, the timings for the arrival of these new software upgrades may vary. According to Roku, Google Assistant support will arrive first “in the coming weeks,” while the other features may arrive in November concluded in early 2019 as a part of version 8.2 and 9 of its Roku OS for streamers and TV.