Roku OS 9.4 has been released and will, over the next few weeks, bring support for Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit to select Roku boxes and sticks as well as select Roku TVs.
Apple features in Roku
As announced in September 2020, Roku and Apple are bringing AirPlay 2 and HomeKit to select Roku devices. This will let you push media content from iPhone/iPad/Mac wirelessly to the screen and control certain aspects of the Roku/TV (power, volume, inputs etc.) via an iOS device or through Siri voice commands.
- "Starting today, Apple AirPlay and HomeKit support is available on select 4K Roku streaming devices, including the Roku Ultra, Roku Streambar, Roku Smart Soundbar, Roku Streaming Stick+, and Roku Premiere," announced Roku.
Besides the Apple TV box and now select Roku devices, the AirPlay 2 and HomeKit systems are also supported in TVs from brands like LG, Samsung, Sony, and Vizio.
Also read: List: TVs with Apple TV app, Apple TV+, AirPlay 2 & HomeKit
Roku said that it is the first to offer compatibility with the three leading voice assistants; Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Siri voice commands can control compatible Roku devices via an iOS device or HomePod.
The new features will be enabled as part of a larger Roku OS 9.4 update that will roll out in "phases over the coming weeks", the company said.
Roku OS 9.4 update
Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit – Later this year, we’re expecting to deliver Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit capabilities on select 4K Roku devices. With AirPlay 2, you can stream, control, and share your favorite content directly from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac to your Roku device and bring the experience to the big screen. HomeKit allows you to easily and securely control your Roku device using the Home app and Siri on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, or HomePod.
Live TV Channel Guide – Have a Roku TV? Now you can watch free live TV directly from your home screen by selecting the “Live TV” input tile. This gives you one-click access to an easy to use program guide with over 115 free live streaming TV channels. If you have an antenna connected, you’ll be able to view a combined program guide with free streaming channels and over-the-air broadcast channels. Additionally, you can choose between two program guide views, including recently watched channels.
Helpful Hints for Roku Voice – Helpful hints will appear directly on the TV screen to inform you of voice commands you can use on your Roku device. These hints are designed to help you enjoy quick, simple control of your Roku device using a wide variety of voice commands. Roku Voice is available on compatible voice remotes or via the free Roku mobile app.
Surround level control for multi-channel audio – If you own Roku audio products with a multi-channel speaker configuration, you’ll be able to adjust the volume of your rear surround speakers relative to the volume of your soundbar for sound levels that match your preference.
The Roku Channel free mobile app for iOS and Android smartphones – The all new dedicated mobile app delivers free and premium entertainment for all. You can now enjoy a wide variety of free on-demand entertainment, live TV, and news, as well as access to Premium Subscriptions.
More free linear channels – The Roku Channel is expanding its free live/linear channel lineup in the U.S. with new channels, including Bloody Disgusting TV, The Craftistry, Circle, HappyKids.tv, Hi-YAH! – The Martial Arts Channel, iFood.tv, The LEGO Channel, Maverick Black Cinema, MOVIESPHERE, Skills + Thrills, VENN, and Weatherspy, as well as a variety of Spanish-language entertainment including Sony Canal Comedias, Sony Canal Compentencias, Sony Canal Novelas from Sony Pictures Television and Tastemade en Espanol.