Roku OS update adds AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support to older streamers

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Roku OS update adds AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support to older streamers
Roku got closer to Apple with AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support. Even the new Voice Remote Pro has an Apple connection.
Photo: Roku

The release of Roku OS 10 brings support for Apple’s AirPlay 2 and HomeKit to several more Roku streaming devices and smart TVs. These streaming options were once reserved for pricey settop boxes but are now available on very affordable devices.

Roku broadens AirPlay 2 support

With AirPlay 2, users can stream and control video directly from their iPhone, iPad or Mac. It’s a system intended to enable a device with a small screen to make use of a big-screen TV. And HomeKit support allows users to control their Roku device using Apple’s Home app and Siri on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch or HomePod.

Starting in 2020, many 4K Roku devices already supported the Apple technologies. Tuesday’s software update expands them to more affordable HD models. That includes the Roku Express ($24.99) and HD-only smart TVs.

Years ago, AirPlay 2 was only for Apple TVs. But it’s now broadly available on smart TVs and streaming devices from many companies, like Samsung and LG.

Other new features in Roku OS 10 include Instant Resume, which helps users get back to the content they were watching within supported channels faster. There’s also HDR10+ support, automatic Wi-Fi network detection and automatic game console configuration.

The software update is rolling out to select Roku players now, and is expected to be installed on all supported streaming players in the coming weeks.

Roku Voice Remote Pro commits to Apple TV+

Also unveiled on Tuesday is the Roku Voice Remote Pro, which includes a rechargeable battery and hands-free voice access. But the most notable feature for Apple users is a dedicated Apple TV+ button. This takes users straight to the streaming service… a placement that Apple certainly paid for.

The Roku Voice Remote is compatible with all Roku TV models, audio devices and select streaming players. It sells for $29.99.

Source: Roku