Apple AirPlay comes to Roku devices in new OS update

Roku will integrate Apple AirPlay 2 and Homekit as the headline features of its latest OS update.

Roku OS 9.4 will launch later this year, giving users the ability to stream, control and share content from their iOS or MacOS device to their big screen on selected devices. AirPlay 2 and HomeKit however will only come to newer 4K devices, with older 1080p devices not supported.

By extension, the update will allow users to cast WarnerMedia streamer HBO Max to their Roku devices for the first time. The SVOD is not currently available on Roku devices, with the companies seemingly at an impasse over the app’s status within Roku’s channels ecosystem.

The update will also bring a live TV channel guide which will present The Roku Channel’s Live TV Channel Guide directly on the home screen. The Roku Channel is the company’s AVOD offering, which presents users with more than 115 free live streaming channels. The number of channels can be expanded by plugging an antenna into the device, which will add over-the-air broadcast channels.

The company also announced that it will launch a dedicated Roku Channel app on iOS and Android smartphones later this year.

The update also comes with other minor updates such as on-screen prompts for voice commands, surround level control for multi-channel audio, and overall performance updates.

Ilya Asnis, senior vice president of Roku OS at Roku, said: “The Roku OS allows consumers to easily get to the content they want to watch so they can sit back and enjoy the show. With Roku OS 9.4, we give our customers even more choice and new ways to navigate and control content-rich experiences on and off Roku devices.”

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