Roku announced today the latest update to their streaming software with voice enhancements, better search, automatic account linking, and Guest Mode. The new features will come in Roku OS 9.1 which will roll out to their streaming media players like Roku Streaming Stick and Roku Ultra in the next few weeks, and Roku TV’s from various manufacturers this Summer.
The software update includes new voice commands like “Replay” to go back a few seconds or “turn closed captions on/off” to toggle commands. On Roku TV devices, you can say “turn display off” to turn off the screen, but keep music playing.
They’ve also enhanced voice search. When you use voice search for channels, movies TV shows available on The Roku Channel — they will now automatically start playing instead of going to search results.
Now when you search for genres like “thriller” or “action”, the results with be categorized into collections like “New Releases”, “Free”, and “Rent or Buy.”
If you have multiple Roku players or TVs, your streaming accounts will be synced across your devices. This means once you log-in to a streaming service on one device, it will be automatically logged in on your other Roku devices. Out of the gate, 10 subscription services will be supported including Sling TV and Pandora — with others coming soon.
While this isn’t a new feature, they’ve added more flexibility to it. The feature, previously known as “Auto Sign Out Mode”, allows guest to sign into their own streaming accounts. Now, you can enable or disable the feature for specific devices from your Roku account page.