Roku OS is about to get a lot better thanks to the upcoming 11.5 software update that looks to improve the streaming experience. Roku OS is already a highly popular streaming platform with the operating system available on the company’s selection of streaming players as well as some third-party devices including various smart TVs. However, and as is the case with all OSes, there’s always room for improvement.
One of the improvements which arrived earlier this year was the addition of a new Live TV Zone, which makes it easier for users to find and watch live TV content available through popular live TV streaming services as well as the company’s own Live TV Channel Guide. The latter of which provides access to more than 300 live television channels for free.
With the latest update, Roku is further building on this ability to access content easier and quicker. Specifically, the Roku home screen will be gaining a Continue Watching section that allows users to jump back into an episode or movie that had previously been started but not finished. As explained in the announcement, Roku devices updated to Roku OS 11.5 will also see a new Save List. In principle, this Save List works very similar to Google TV’s Watchlist by providing users with the option to bookmark a show or movie and easily find it again at a later time. While most streaming apps already offer continue watching and watchlist features, the difference here is that Roku’s solutions are accessible directly from the home screen and not tied to a single streaming service.
Another change that’s coming soon is the introduction of what Roku calls The Buzz. This is a section on the home screen menu which will highlight short-form videos from various streaming services. For example, trailers and interviews. This is best thought of as additional value content rather than actual episodes or movies. Elsewhere, Roku is also looking to make some other, more minor changes to improve the experience. For example, the mobile app is gaining a new Guide button which acts as a shortcut to the Live TV Channel Guide. Likewise, the Live TV Channel Guide itself will be gaining new categories that also make it quicker and easier to narrow down live TV content to watch.
For existing Roku users, many of these upgrades will improve the experience by streamlining how content is found and accessed. As many of these features are already available on Google TV, anyone switching over to a Roku player is likely to feel more at home with the change and won’t lose out on some of the more popular Google TV features.
For reference, Roku has not confirmed exactly when Roku OS 11.5 will begin rolling out, other than stating eligible Roku devices can expect it to arrive “in the coming months.”