Roku OS 11.5, released in September 2022, set the stage for some of the forthcoming features. The Continue Watching row in the What to Watch submenu added in that update will become more convenient when Prime Video, discovery+ (or will it be Max?), and Freevee are added alongside Netflix, HBO Max, Paramount+, and the Roku Channel. BET+, Frndly TV, and STARZ are coming, too.
TV shows and movies are added to Continue Watching as soon as you exit the show on any Roku device.
The Roku update will draw on advanced AI to improve personalization for sports fans. Recommendations that appear at the top of the Sports submenu will be determined not only by your favorite team and sports but by your location and viewing habits.
The update will also expand programming in its Sports Zone with the addition of new apps, including CBS Sports, NBC Sports, MLB.TV, and the NBA League pass. Golf will also be added and soccer coverage will be expanded to include some Spanish language games, among other things.
In addition to knowing what you’ve been watching, Roku says its new AI engine will be able to better predict what you will want to watch; topics and stations you click on or watch most will be displayed first. In Roku’s Live TV Zone, improved AI also promises to personalize local news based on your location and available streaming channels in major U.S. cities.
Roku offers a lineup of more than 350 free ad-supported TV (FAST) channels, including live local news stations through NBC Live News, which provides access to NBC affiliates in South Florida, Connecticut, Los Angeles, New York, Boston, San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Dallas Fort Worth, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. in addition to NBC’s podcast/talk show news station LXnews.
The Live TV Channel Guide will also be expanded to include a Premium Subscription Category where you can sign up for premium channels.
With the OS 12 update, Roku will unveil a redesigned app with a new home screen that offers “more ways to discover new content.” Whether these additions will create a simpler, streamlined home interface remains to be seen. A Live TV Channel Guide button will also be added to the app’s remote control screen, expanding quick access to the channel guide to all Roku plays (such access is currently available only for Roku TVs).
Roku will also roll out a new sign-up/sign-in process in the app’s account hub, which will allow users to manage devices attached to their account and change security, privacy, and notification preferences.
The redesigned app also promises to make it easier for friends and family to add up to 1,000 photos to shared Photo Streams. A new screen will allow photos on your phone to be uploaded directly to Photo Stream. Currently, you have to first scan a QR code to bring up the Roku Photo Stream website on your phone.
Roku TVs and devices will automatically update to OS 12. To see if your Roku has received the update, go to Settings > System Software Update. New channels and changes in the mobile app should start showing up in the coming months but only on devices running Roku OS 12.