Let’s be honest, Roku has been the best TV box you can buy for a long time. With support for nearly anything you can imagine streaming, Roku players have been easy recommendations for me to make to less tech-savvy friends and family. Need Amazon support? Got it. Google Play Movies? Yep. Netflix? Please. YouTube TV is even supported.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Chromecast and that is the de facto way my family streams content to the big screen. I have found that setup to be less than perfect for extreme ends of the spectrum, however; with kids needing a device to start playback and older generations simply not being on board with controlling everything from a phone.
In these cases, a Roku is an easy solution, and this latest announcement makes using Roku devices even easier. You can now command your Roku streaming device with your Google Assistant via your phone, Chromebook, or Google Home device.
With the update, you can now ask Google to do things like:
- “Hey Google, launch The Roku Channel on Roku”
- “Hey Google, find documentaries on Roku”
- “Hey Google, show me comedies on Roku”
- “Hey Google, pause on Roku”
Additionally, if you have a TV with Roku built in, you can do things like:
- “Hey Google, turn on Roku”
- “Hey Google, turn up the volume on Roku”
- “Hey Google, mute on Roku”
- “Hey Google, change to channel 5.1 on Roku”
- “Hey Google, switch to HDMI 2 on Roku”
All in all, this gives Roku yet another reason for ownership. Not only are all your services supported, but now you can take full advantage of a voice assistant to start up playback as well.
Lost your remote? Want the kids to have an easy way to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse? Google Assistant and Roku can do all that for you now. While I’d love to see a solution straight from Google like this, I’m more than happy to recommend a Roku if the Chromecast life isn’t exactly what you are after from a streaming TV device…especially with Google Assistant support baked in!
According to Roku, this new feature is available now on:
- All Roku TV models
- Roku Express (3700X, 3900X)
- Roku Express+ (3710X, 3910X)
- Roku Streaming Stick (3600X, 3800X)
- Roku Streaming Stick+ (3810X)
- Roku 2 (4210X)
- Roku 3 (4200X, 4230X)
- Roku 4 (4400X)
- Roku Premiere (3920X,4620X)
- Roku Premiere+ (3921X,4630X)
- Roku Ultra (4640X, 4660X, 4661X)