We saw the earlier news from Roku, in regards to the Streaming Stick and Vudu channel. And well, while those are clearly the bigger announcements, Roku has also rolled-out an update for their smartphone remote apps. The update applies to the Android app as well as the iPhone app and they can each be found in their respective app stores. Both apps also remain free of charge.
As for what you can expect from this latest update — Play on Roku. This is a new feature, which as the name would imply, will allow you to play your media on a Roku. More specifically, it will allow you to stream music and/or images from an iPhone or Android smartphone. While streaming music from your smartphone to your Roku you will see a screensaver on your television that will show the song title, artist, album name and any cover art. You will be able to stream MP3 and M4A audio files. In terms of image streaming, this will allow users to show an individual image or a slideshow of images. Furthermore, you will be able to combine audio with your slideshows.
Roku Announces Mobile App Updates; Introduces Play on Roku
‘Play on Roku’ Lets Customers Stream Photos and Music from iOS or Android Mobile Devices to Roku Streaming Players
SARATOGA, Calif. – Sept. 20, 2012 – Many Roku® customers take photos and download music on smartphones or tablets for easy access anytime, and anywhere. For these customers, Roku today announced updates to the Roku mobile app that include Play on Roku, a feature that allows customers to stream photos and music from a mobile device wirelessly to a Roku streaming player. The Roku mobile app – which essentially turns a smartphone or tablet into a Roku remote control – is now also available in all countries where Roku players are sold, including the U.K., Canada and Ireland.
Photos streamed on TV using Play on Roku can be viewed individually using a swiping gesture on the mobile device, or in automatic slide show mode. When music is streamed using Play on Roku, a screen saver with the song title, artist, album name and cover art will appear on the TV while the song plays. Photo slide shows can also be viewed with music streaming at the same time. Play on Roku is compatible with MP3 and M4A audio files and JPG and PNG image files.
“For most people, mobile devices are an extension of their lifestyle – they use their smartphones and tablets for almost everything, including capturing photos and curating music,” said Jim Funk, senior vice president of product management at Roku. “With this in mind, we wanted to provide a mobile experience that gave customers different ways to enjoy their photos and music, while getting even more value out of their Roku players.”
With the Roku mobile app, customers can control their Roku player without using the included IR remote. Additionally, customers can:
- Assign names to Roku players
- Instantly replay favorite movie moments
- Quickly add and remove channels
- Control and switch between multiple Roku players
- Enter text easily with the included keyboard feature
Available for iOS and Android mobile devices, the Roku mobile app can be downloaded for free from the iTunes App Store or Google Play. Play on Roku works with all Roku 2, Roku LT and Roku HD (model 2500R) players today and will work with the Roku Streaming Stick, expected to ship in October.