Roku is going all Google TV with its bigger and better smart TV menu

Roku TV
(Image credit: Roku)

As we reported a few weeks back, Roku has been testing a new version of its Home Screen with selected users that's a little bit bigger and more useful than before. It looks like that testing period could soon be coming to a close, because some Roku owners are already starting to see the new interface. 

As you can see in the image below (courtesy of CordCuttersNews), it looks very like Google TV. And that's no bad thing. According to CordCuttersNews, the updated interface is appearing on Roku's higher-end media players first but could be on its way to everybody soon. 

Roku TV's new interface for 2023

(Image credit: CordCuttersNews)

What's new in the Roku TV interface?

The most obvious change is to the grid, which is now a four by four instead of a three by three – so you get 16 tiles instead of nine, which is more similar to the menus in some of the best TVs. There's also a new Continue Watching row, which enables you to pick up from where you left off, and there's also a What To Watch section with recommendations. 

The move to a bigger grid with smaller tiles isn't just more convenient. It also makes much more sense on the larger and larger TVs we're mostly buying. Those nine tiles could get pretty massive on decently sized displays.

Inputs have been reorganized – all your HDMI ports are now in the same folder – and Roku has finally embraced what everybody else is doing and is now calling its apps Apps instead of Channels. That might not sound significant but it does make things a little less confusing for newcomers.

The big question now is whether we're also going to get a new version of the Roku operating system, whose last update was delivered back in April. Roku tends to launch new hardware in the Autumn, so this new interface may be a sign of a more substantial under-the-hood update too.

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Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now and her next book, about pop music, is out in 2025. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind.