Roku plans big device upgrade that could change the way you stream your shows

There's a new Roku homescreen being tested right now

Couple watching TV on Roku
(Image credit: Roku)

Roku is testing a new homescreen that could be coming to your device soon.

It has reportedly appeared on some Roku streamers in the US, including Roku TV models, and adds a refreshed channel layout and an all-new "continue watching" rail.

The new rail is quite a departure for the company, which has stuck to a similar channel (app) grid aesthetic for many years. It adds a section at the top of your home page that gives you instant access to different programmes you may have already started across multiple supported streaming services.

This is far from new for other streaming devices, such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick and Chromecast with Google TV, but will be a much welcome addition to Roku hardware should it roll out globally soon.

The new upgrade was spotted by some readers of Cord Cutters News, which also found that one of its Roku TVs had been delivered the new homescreen build.

New Roku homescreen

(Image credit: Cord Cutters News)

Not only does it add the extra rail, the old 3 x 3 channels grid has been extended to a 4 x 4 version, with smaller icons. It also lists them as "apps" for the first time. This is quite significant for Roku as it has always called the different services "channels".

It might be because it plans to add live streamed channels to the homepage at some point, as its own Roku Channel platform is rapidly growing.

It's not yet known which services will be supported by the continue watching functionality, although CCN states that Disney+ is included.

There's also no word yet on when the homescreen could be released to the wider public, or even if, but considering how good it looks in photos, we'd be very surprised if it wasn't available to all before the end of the year.

We'll keep you up to date on this and any other changes Roku plans to its software – we expect more tweaks and features to be included in any major release so will keep our eyes and ears open.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.