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Google Assistant coming soon to Roku devices (Updated: Now available!)
Update, October 29, 2018 (1:27PM EST): It took a bit, but Google Assistant is rolling out to users with compatible Roku devices.
To set up Google Assistant on your Roku device, first make sure that you updated your device to the latest version of Roku OS. From there, open the Google Home app and set up the Roku device. You should see it listed as a provider. You must then link your Roku account to the Google Home app.
Keep in mind that you can only link one Roku device to your Google account if you want to issue voice commands. We do not know why the restriction is there, but keep that in mind if you have more than one Roku device at home.
You also have to make sure you have a supported Roku device if you want to use Google Assistant. Supported device include the Roku Express, Roku Express +, Roku Streaming Stick, Roku Streaming Stick+, Roku 2, Roku 3, Roku 4, Roku Premiere, Roku Premiere+, and Roku Ultra.
If you own a Roku device, you are going to see some updates coming soon. One of the most notable new features coming your way is Google Assistant on Roku, which will finally bring Roku into your Google-powered smart home network.
Roku does not give a specific list of which Roku devices will see the Google Assistant update. The press release simply says “select Roku devices.” However, the release does clarify that only Rokus with voice capabilities will be able to use certain new Google Assistant-powered voice commands.
According to Roku, you will be able to ask new questions of Roku using Google Assistant. One of those new commands will be “Show me free [media type].” For example, you could say, “Show me free comedy movies,” or “Show me free sitcoms.” Roku will then show you a list of free content that you can access.
Another new voice command will allow you to change channels on Roku if you have an OTA antenna attached.
These two features will come bundled as Roku OS 9.0. Once again, Roku doesn’t say which Roku devices will see the update. However, we do know that the following models are compatible with Roku OS 8.1, so if your device isn’t on this list, it won’t get 9.0. If you have a very old device on this list, it might not get 9.0 either, but we’ll have to wait until Roku confirms which devices are compatible:
4660X, 4640X, 4630X, 4620X, 4400X, 4230X, 4210X, 4200X, 3910X, 3900X, 3810X, 3800X, 3710X, 3700X, 3600X, 3500X, 3420X, 3400X, 3100X, 3050X, 3000X, 2720X, 2710X, 2700X, 2500X, 2450X, 2400X, and all models of Roku TVs.
Along with these new software updates, Roku also announced the launch of two new streaming boxes as well as a new perk to be included with its most premium offering, the Roku Ultra. The two new devices — Roku Premiere and Roku Premiere Plus — will cost $39 and $49 respectively and offer 4K streaming. The only difference between the two is the Premiere Plus will offer voice capabilities.
The Roku Ultra will keep its $99 price but throw in a pair of JBL earbuds for free.