Roku is today announcing the latest software update that’s coming soon to Roku streaming devices and Roku TVs. Roku OS 9.3 will expand the company’s voice command system to include Spanish language support. Spanish-speaking users can now use their voice to launch streaming apps, search for something to watch, or control media playback. In Canada, the UK, and Ireland, Roku Voice is also being improved to understand more natural speech and “new ways to find entertainment such as searching by a selection of popular movie quotes.”
Additionally, Roku says its voice-initiated search results are getting more visual. “Roku voice search results will now be presented in a more visual, easy to browse display with categorized rows including relevant movies, shows, short-form entertainment and more for quick discovery of entertainment,” the company wrote in a press release, nothing that search results will continue to be “unbiased” with channels sorted by however you can get something cheapest.
And a few streaming channels now support “playback from search,” meaning they’ll start playing your requested content right away instead of first displaying search results. Roku tells me that these apps “include Acorn, HBO Now, Showtime and more.” But with no mention of Netflix, Prime Video, or Disney+, I’m assuming those ones still have that middle step and require you to manually select a search result.
The Roku software should also get a bit speedier and more responsive with this latest update. The company promises “a reduction in device boot times, faster launch times for a select number of channels, a more responsive home screen and faster navigation when using features such as Featured Free.”
Roku OS 9.3 will first come to the company’s streaming devices next month and then make its way to Roku TVs “in phases over the coming months.” Last month, Roku reported 36.9 million total active users.