The Roku app is a secret weapon for cord-cutters


Although Roku’s streaming platform is simple and dependable, it’s not the most exciting.

Other platforms, such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV have leapfrogged ahead in making content easier to find, providing universal guides and watchlists that work across numerous streaming services. While Roku does offer a universal search function, its TV interface is mostly content with shunting you off to individual apps or funneling you into the Roku Channel, where the company can better-monetize your eyeballs through advertising.

That’s why Roku’s recently updated mobile app is so interesting. Unlike the menu system on Roku’s streaming players and smart TVs, it offers several ways to find new things to watch, along with a “Save List” for easier access to the shows you’re already watching. The app is also full of features that make the viewing experience more pleasant.

If you’re not yet using the Roku app for iOS or Android, here’s what it can do for you, beyond the basics of just replicating your physical remote:

Browse by genre

rokugenres Jared Newman / IDG

Tap the search button at the top of the app, and you’ll see a list of genres to browse through. (You’ll also find a row of these genres further down the homepage.) Within each genre page, you’ll find new releases, content that’s included with your subscriptions, and ad-supported movies and shows you can watch for free.

While these pages are also available directly on your Roku, the only way to find them is by searching for each genre specifically. Having everything laid out in one place makes for a great starting point if you’re feeling indecisive.

Create a “Save List”

rokusavelist Jared Newman / IDG

While the My Feed feature on Roku players falls into disrepair, Roku has started building a replacement called the “Save List” into its mobile app. This allows you to build a watchlist of movies and shows from across different streaming services, just like you can on most other streaming platforms.

To add an item to your Save List, select a program from your home screen, then hit “Add to save list.” You’ll then find these saved items in the app’s Remote tab by hitting the “Save List” icon at the bottom.


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