New Roku OS update improves voice control, adds Google Assistant and Alexa support

Roku has announced the next major update to the software experience on its streaming devices, Roku OS 9.3, which will be rolling out to users in the coming weeks. The update focuses on improvements to voice control and performance.

The voice control feature on Roku OS is once again getting upgraded, allowing for more natural phrases to be used, like "Show me...." or "I want to watch...". It will be possible to find movies based on certain popular movie quotes., and playback controls can also be used with your voice. Voice controls are supported on the remote included with the Roku Streaming Stick+, as well as on the Roku mobile app regardless of which Roku device you have.

If that's not enough, you'll also be able to control your Roku devices with Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa. Most of the same controls, including playback controls and searches can be done with the digital assistants, and if you have a Roku TV, you can even do things like tune into specific inputs and outputs, control the volume, and turn the TV on or off using your voice.

Aside from the upgraded voice controls, Roku OS 9.3 promises better performance, with shorter boot time, better Home screen performance, and faster loading for certain apps. More apps will get faster loading in the future as well.

Finally, Roku is updating its mobile app with a new design, featuring a navigation bar at the bottom of the screen with shortcuts to Roku Search and a multitude of other features, like the ability to switch between Roku devices. The new bar also aims to provide quick access to certain features without leaving the remote control screen.

Roku OS 9.3 will begin rolling out in April to Roku players, and should be available for everyone in the following weeks. Roku TV devices will receive the update in phases over the next few months.

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