The best way to use your smartphone as a Roku distant

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Roku might stand to study a factor or two about trendy visible design from Apple and Android. Nonetheless, by way of usability and performance, its providing eclipses what the opposite digital remotes are able to.

The one actual draw back is that it’s an app as an alternative of constructed into your smartphone just like the iOS’ and Android’s respective remotes are. That stated, I usually use the Roku distant app when watching content material between 10-12pm after I have to be a bit quieter. Additional, now that the iPhone is sensible sufficient to advocate the Roku app as quickly as I pull down system search, it’s much more handy.

When you get into the app, you’re greeted with a structure that appears just about an identical to no matter Roku distant got here together with your TV (or set-top field).

What You’ll want

  • The Roku app (iOS/Android)
  • A Roku machine (TV or set-top field)

The options






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Past navigating and deciding on content material, the Roku app consists of a number of helpful options. Alongside the highest of the display, you’ll discover you could rapidly pull the distant’s settings, a keyboard for typing, and a search button for locating content material in your Roku machine.

It’s good to see Roku use a keyboard button as an alternative of getting it routinely pop up prefer it does on Android and iOS. All three variations of the keyboard implementation work high quality, however Roku’s is probably the most simple and is the least prone to confuse individuals due to this.

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The opposite factor value noting is there’s a small headphone button beneath the D-pad. This permits ‘non-public listening,’ which performs TV audio again via your smartphone’s speaker or headphones related to your smartphone. This can be a actually helpful function that makes it simple to observe content material quietly, and as much as 4 telephones can make the most of the performance on the identical time.

Past this, the app features usually as a distant. Nonetheless, you too can use it to leap between Channels (apps/inputs) on Roku and browse free content material on the service. I don’t use these features as a lot since I largely watch YouTube and Netflix on my TV, however it’s nonetheless good to have it there. Android and iOS even have comparable options to this inside their Google TV and Apple TV apps, respectively.

You’ll be able to take a look at the Apple TV/AirPlay distant and the Android distant in my prior protection.