Roku, makers of compact digital media devices like the Ultra, Premiere and Express, just announced today the launch of its OS 9.3 software — perfect for all that mandatory downtime at home during the coronavirus crisis. The upgrade comes at no extra cost and bundles several key features and improves overall functionality.
“The Roku OS continues to get better with a specific focus on delivering better performance, new content and more ways to find it,” said product management director Lloyd Klarke. “With Roku OS 9.3, we’re enhancing Roku Voice in Canada with increased natural language understanding, additional media playback controls and fun features like the ability to find Hollywood hits using movie quotes.”
Who doesn’t love Amazon’s affable virtual assistant, Alexa? Users can ask her (or Google Assistant) to pause the current video or search up something else to watch. Roku TV owners are even able to get Alexa to help change the channel, volume or turn the unit on or off.
No smart speaker? No problem. Roku Voice (available on the Roku Streaming Sick and Roku Mobile App) now understands more natural speech. For example, saying a phrase like, “Show me…” will execute the desired command. It can also fast forward or rewind, pause, or even turn on closed captions.
As mentioned, the update provides a boost in performance as well, so boot times are faster, as well as load times for a growing list of select channels.
OS 9.3 is slated to begin first rolling out to select Roku players in coming weeks starting in April, followed by Roku TV models afterwards.
And don’t forget, there’s plenty of free streaming content offered, like via the Roku Channel boasting in excess of 10,000 movies and television shows. Or, for those with subscriptions, queue up Amazon Prime or the recently added Apple TV and Disney Plus.