Apple Watch is Adding a Roku Remote Feature to Make Streaming Easier

By Yelena Mandenberg Yelena Mandenberg has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on November 10, 2019

Apple announced this week that they’ll be adding a Roku remote feature to the Apple Watch – all users have to do is download the app on their watch and log in. Users will be able to use their watch like a remote, pausing, playing, adjusting the volume, etc.

This is great news for the 29 million Roku subscribers – which is higher than the amount of Hulu users – who are seeing the service expand.

“Strong active account growth and accelerating streaming hours point to consumers’ growing enthusiasm for streaming, making Roku America’s largest and fastest-growing TV streaming distribution platform,” Roku CEO Anthony Wood said in a prepared statement. “In 2018, we maintained our leadership in streaming players, licensed smart TVs and TV streaming hours. Roku continues to bring viewers more choice, great value, a compelling user experience – and lots of TV fun.”

Apple Watch Roku Remote App Features

The Roku remote app extends to Roku devices, like Roku media players and select Roku TVs. It pretty much works like the mobile app but created for the Apple Watch. Those who have used the mobile app before will be pretty familiar with the features.

In order to get this feature on your smartwatch, update your Roku iOS app to the latest version, (6.1.3) and the Roku remote app will appear in the watch (as long as your ‘automatic app install’ permissions aren’t disabled in your settings).

Other than the usual controls, the smartwatch app has a find remote feature for those of us who can’t keep track. Roku also added voice commands… “simply tap the voice icon in the app and say commands like ‘Launch Hulu,’ ‘search for comedies,’ ‘switch to HDMI 1’ for your Roku TV, and much more. Available on select Roku devices and Roku TV models.” And best, or newest of all, the watch app has a channel launch feature that allows users to look through their favorite channels, which are organized in the order of most recently watched. Now you can continue to binge your show from any device.

Roku’s Recent Success in the Streaming Industry

For 18 years, Roku has slowly but steadily built up its streaming platform to compete with Netflix and Hulu. Roku says that in the last year, one in every three smart TVs sold was a Roku device, which at least makes them the biggest smart TV platform in the country.

Now that Disney is coming out with its own streaming service this month… and so is AMC, and so is NBC… and probably a lot more companies in the near future, we’ll see how Roku competes. While all of these other streaming services are involved in producing their own content, Roku has steered clear of that avenue, and has no plans to create its own studio in the future. Because of this, they’re considered one of the most trustworthy companies by users and other streaming services, who have no problems, or drama, with creating apps for Roku.

The Roku channel is committed to bringing the best and most popular shows to people’s living rooms for free… and competing with Apple TV. At the same time, as all other services are losing the rights to shows as production companies are taking back their programming in order to launch their own service. Roku may be the solution.

By Yelena Mandenberg Yelena Mandenberg has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Yelena Mandenberg is the Ideas Editor at Grit Daily with a passion for news of all sorts. Finishing Brooklyn College with a degree in Print Media Journalism as the industry died out, she began working as a freelancer.After spending some time working in the retail industry, Yelena started BK Riot Writing, a marketing company that caters to small and local businesses, creating content that helps them compete. From her South Brooklyn apartment where she lives with her cat & tortoise, Yelena is always seeking something new and interesting to cover.

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