Roku Launches New Operating System With Enhanced Personalization Features

Roku March 22 announced that its new OS 11 operating system will start rolling out to Roku devices in the coming weeks. Roku OS 11 brings personalization to the forefront with the launch of Roku Photo Streams — giving users the ability to share digital photos. Additionally, Roku OS 11 offers expanded content discovery menu options, auto speech clarity, new sound modes, and an improved mobile app, among other features.

Roku Photo Streams enables users to create a personalized screensaver using their own photos. To do so, users upload images directly to their Roku devices through their desktop or mobile phone and set them as screensavers. Users can also upload and share Streams with other Roku users. Once a Stream is shared, friends and family can also add their photos to the Stream, creating a shared album.

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“We recognize not everyone interacts with their TV in the same way,” Gidon Katz, SVP  of product and experience at Roku, said in a statement.

Other Roku OS 11 features include automatic speech clarity setting, which identifies and amplifies dialog. New sound modes for Roku Streambar and speakers, including standard, dialog, movie, music, and night.

Roku also expanded the A/V sync with a calibration tool within the Roku Mobile app, syncing audio with the action on the screen. This feature is available when you have a player or Streambar device connected to the Roku mobile app and is accessible within the settings menu.

The operating system also updates movies and TV shows to stream from a variety of third-party channels, including those users most frequently interact with.

In January, Roku added a Live TV Zone on the Home Screen Menu giving users access to free live and linear content from The Roku Channel as well as cable alternatives, including Hulu, FuboTV, Philo, Sling TV and YouTube TV, among others. With Roku OS 11, viewers can see their recently watched live TV content and discover the latest in local and national news, sports, movies, and more in the Live TV section now located on the home screen menu.

The Roku Voice features simplifies device setup and channel login for supported apps by allowing users to enter email, password, and PIN information with their voice. With OS 11, voice-enabled keyboards will be available in Spanish, German and Portuguese in the U.S. and supported countries.

Finally, the free Roku OS 11 mobile app provides users with additional information about where to stream movies and TV shows, highlighting which channels are streaming the content for free or where it can be streamed within existing subscriptions. The new content details on the mobile app also show visual images of the cast and crew to assist with choosing what to watch.