Smart speakers have been around for some time now and many companies, both large and small, have been opening their platforms and hardware to work with these voice-enabled speakers. Today Roku announced that they would be the latest to join this revolution by adding support for Google Home smart speakers alongside the announcement of their latest hardware offering: Roku Premiere and Premiere+.
First, let’s talk about why Roku opening its OS to Google Assistant is a big deal. If you own a Google Home speaker, you can now control your Roku Box, Stick and Roku TV using just your voice. While it’s true that you can do similar functions like launching specific apps, search for content and control playback with Roku’s voice command remote, Google Assistant is much more polished and if you’ve already dipped into the “smart home” revolution, this will be one less thing you have to do separately. What’s more, for Roku TV owners you’ll be able to turn your TV on and off using just your voice.
In other software news, Spotify is also coming back to the platform with a “much better” app that lives up the standards of the company. Pandora’s Roku app is also adding support for their premium offering and voice control. TuneIn and iHeartRadio are also adding support for voice control. With these big names in music streaming adding voice support it shouldn’t be long before other apps alike as well as other media apps follow suit.
As for the Premiere and Premiere+, both support 802.11n Wi-Fi and HDR10. As a 4K streaming machine its stacks up to its competitors but leaps past them in a huge way: the $39.99 price point ($49.99 for the Premiere+ model, sold exclusively at Walmart). At that price point, it is by far the cheapest 4K streaming device available on the market. Given the powerful internals coupled with the plethora of apps and services available from Roku, it’s the best value in 4K streaming.Via: The Verge