Apple Watch adds new Roku app

Apple has announced that it will include an app in its Apple Watch range that enables you to control the Roku media player via remote control. The Apple Watch software will be compatible with Roku media players and TVs, meaning that you can access all Roku services via your wrist.
Roku box
Roku claims to provide the simplest way to stream entertainment to any TV set. Photo: Roku.

Strong feature set

Considering that the Apple Watch obviously doesn’t have the largest display, it seems that the app contains a pretty impressive set of features. Users will be able to play and pause any content, with a home button, select button, back button, and directional arrows all included.

The Apple Watch app will also make it possible for the Roku app to automatically launch all of their favourite channels, which are neatly organized in order of the most recently accessed. This means that, for example, regular viewers of Amazon Prime Video or Netflix won’t need to continually scroll down a list in order to locate the appropriate function.

Roku app.
The new Apple Watch app will enable users to access the Roku remote via their smartwatch. Photo: Apple

Another useful feature included in the Apple Watch Roku app is voice search functionality. This is becoming very much standard across the technology industry, and it can be accessed on the Apple Watch Roku app by tapping the voice icon. The software understands a range of standard commands, and Apple has confirmed that this feature is compatible with all versions of the Apple Watch.

Users with either the Roku Ultra or a Roku TV with the Remote Finder functionality will also be able to use the Apple Watch Roku app in order to signal the Roku remote to begin making a noise. This helps you locate the device, should it be misplaced at some point in your home.

These are all familiar features to those who have used the Roku remote for smartphones, with the Apple Watch app intended to deliver the same functionality, in a miniaturized version. In fact, the only feature missing from the new Apple Watch software is the ability to stream it free movies from the Roku Channel. Of course, this is something that few Apple Watch users would require considering the small size of the device’s display.

The Roku app can be downloaded right now, although it does require Apple Watch users to update the Roku iOS app to the latest version. Users that do this will automatically gain access to the Roku content.

Roku TV
The Roku TV service provides access to a wide range of popular content, including Netflix. Photo: Roku.

Fifth generation

Apple is already on the fifth generation of the Apple Watch series, having released its latest smartwatch earlier this year. Each release of the Apple Watch has built in extra functionality, and this has led to the smartwatch becoming extremely popular.

Indeed, figures acquired from the data analysis firm NPD indicate that Apple is dominating the smartwatch industry. Apple was responsible for over 50% of the smartwatches shipped during 2018, underlining its dominance of this technology niche.

While the First Apple Watch release wasn’t particularly well received, Apple has steadily strengthened the brand over time, and it is now an increasing fixture on wrists all over the world.

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