Roku support for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit is finally arriving on select 4K devices, with support coming to 4K TVs running Roku’s OS in the coming days.
The Apple feature support, initially announced back in September, will begin rolling out to 4K devices with the Roku OS 9.4 update. Of the company’s streaming solutions, the Roku Ultra, Roku Streaming Stick+, and Roku Premiere will support the features, as will the Roku Streambar and the Roku Smart Soundbar. Ilya Asnis, senior vice president of Roku OS, said in a statement the update is meant to benefit Roku users “regardless of what other technology products they prefer in their homes.”
AirPlay 2 will allow Roku users to share music, videos, and other media to their screens directly from their Apple products, be that an iPhone, iPad, or MacBook. HomeKit, meanwhile, allows Siri commands to control a supported device in much the same way that voice-enabled remotes can be used to pull up content or open an app. This update makes navigating a TV hands-free an option for folks who have already invested in the Apple ecosystem but rely on Roku’s devices for their streaming.
To cast content from your Apple device to your 4K Roku TV or streaming device, tap the AirPlay icon while streaming it from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. To enable HomeKit on your Roku device, navigate to the Settings menu on your TV, scroll down to Apple AirPlay and HomeKit, and select Launch Apple AirPlay and HomeKit setup. A full list of specific device models and software versions that support the features can be found right here.
Support for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit gives Roku devices a significant advantage with Apple users over the streaming new kid on the block, Chromecast with Google TV. Roku generally plays well with Apple, though. Apple TV is also supported on Roku devices, whereas it’s long been absent from streaming gadgets outside of the Roku, Apple, or Fire TV ecosystems.
Now...if only Roku would add support for HBO Max, we’d really be talking.