The Roku line of streaming boxes and dongles has often impressed, being an affordable way to get access to hundreds of web channels on even dumb TVs. But with renewed competition from a new line of Amazon and Apple streaming boxes, Roku's bolstering its defences with an updated OS for its line up.
The Roku OS 7 update's headline feature builds on May's introduction of a "Feed" to the players' homescreens. Users will now be able to follow individual movies, shows, actors and directors, and get updates on when new content featuring their followed subjects becomes accessible through the Roku players (or the price of existing content changes).
Roku says that OS 7 will begin rolling out to current-generation Roku players in mid-October, which suggests those using the older boxes may miss out on the new trick. So long as you've never imported a Roku player, that shouldn't affect UK users though – all Roku boxes that have officially been sold in the UK are considered of the "current" generation.
In addition, Roku is revamping its mobile app, with a new layout letting you jump between the Search, Feed, Remote Control and Play on Roku features from the very first screen. Those beaming their photos to a Roku player via the app will also now be able to make use of pinch-to-zoom gestures, while a new "Dorm Connect" feature will let the app act as a bridge to connect the streaming boxes and dongles to public networks that must be first authenticated through a browser (such as those you'd find in a hotel). [Roku]