Roku Streaming Stick w_remote

Roku Fixes the Most Annoying Thing About its Quick Buttons


I think everyone has at one point accidentally hit a button on their remote. With most remotes that may mean accidentally pausing a video or muting the TV, but with Roku that often means jumping to a different Roku Channel requiring a lot of work to get back to your video.

Now Roku has released an update to fix this issue with its quick buttons. (The buttons on the remote that allow you to jump directly to Netflix, Sling, Amazon, etc.)

With this new update, if you are watching a video and hit one of the quick buttons on your remote you will be asked to confirm you want to exit your current app. Now this only happens if you are watching a video. Hitting the quick buttons on the home screen or in the menus of Netflix, for example, will launch you right into the app you requested.

Roku’s quick buttons are one of the reasons they are so easy to use, making getting to popular apps such as Netflix and Hulu quick. Yet it always seems easy to bump and accidently exit the video you are watching. Now that will no longer be an issue.

While this is still not the programable buttons many Roku owners would love, it is a nice update to the Roku OS.

Your Roku must be running 7.6 to have the new quick button feature. Some Roku TVs have yet to update to 7.6, but Roku promises over the next few months they will get the 7.6 update.

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  • Sunny Rain

    the best fix would be to remove the buttons completely. their remotes are so archaic. it’s like they’re designed for old people.

    • If you don’t want them, you can find the original Roku 3 remotes without the shortcut buttons on eBay. I don’t know if they’re compatible with any models other than Roku 3 (2013 and 2015) and Roku 2 (2015) though.

      What else would you change to improve the Roku remote? And what’s wrong with designing something that works well for people of a wide range of ages anyway?

      • Devin Serpa

        Find remote with phone app. Press to beep remote.

      • Sunny Rain

        I don’t want them to improve it. I want it to continue looking so old and bulky so that less young people choose Roku. And that way, it can pave an easy way for Roku to lose the market share lead and be replaced with more advanced operating systems.

        • Todd

          Personally, I would rather have the simplest device on the market also be the most popular and in demand. It simplifies the transition for people to become cord cutters when the interface is simple to navigate and it doesn’t require a lot of technical knowledge to use. The simpler the process, the more people become cord cutters, which is good for everyone.

          • Sunny Rain

            Apple TV is also a very simple interface. It’s actually more straight-forward since it uses the same style that people are used to on their iPhones and iPads.

          • Todd

            It’s also considerably more expensive than the average Roku.

          • Sunny Rain

            the thing i hate most about roku is that it lacks standardization. there are so many different rokus with different features and software and it’s all so fragmented. Trying to compete against stronger unified platforms like iOS and Android puts it in a high risk of extinction. it doesn’t help that major companies no longer want to develop for Roku.

          • Todd

            That may be true. However, the simple UI, low cost (relative to other devices), and a remote that is more like a typical cable remote than, say Apple, Amazon or Shield, all add up to a platform that meets the needs of the majority of cord cutters. As the customer demands change, the Roku platform will change with it.

            I’ll grant you that the platform doesn’t work for everyone, and there are plenty of other devices for those who don’t like Roku. However, Roku owns the largest portion of the market for a reason.

          • Sunny Rain

            It owns the largest market because it was the only one in the market for a long time. The others only joined recently.

          • Todd

            The first generation of Apple TV was released in March, 2007 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_TV#1st_generation).

            The first Roku wasn’t released until May, 2008. Try again. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roku#First_generation)

          • Sunny Rain

            We’re talking about devices within the same price range. So, think Chromecast and FireTV. Also, Apple barely pays any attention to Apple TV in terms of promotion.

          • Todd

            Each device has its advantages and disadvantages. Each offers something for their respective customer base. Not everyone likes the idea of having to “cast” a show to their TV, especially if they are used to the way they always watched TV over cable or satellite. I personally can’t stand the FireTV because of its interface. It’s also a lot harder for others in my family to navigate because it’s completely unlike any other interface they have had to deal with. The Roku is the main device in our house for that reason.

          • Todd

            My point is, wishing for a platform to fail simply because you prefer something else does nothing but reduce options for other cord cutters. Just because you don’t care for it doesn’t mean others feel the same.

          • FranchisePlayer

            So much this.

          • FranchisePlayer

            I had a similar reaction when I went from the Roku to a Fire TV. I’ve grown accustomed to Fire TV and while it does push the Amazon stuff a bit much, I put them both about the same.

          • whydidnt

            I hope you’re not seriously comparing the original Apple TV to Roku. The original box didn’t even stream anything, you had to copy your songs and music to it from iTunes on your computer. The 2nd gen device allowed you to at least stream from iTunes. You could not stream content from anywhere but Apple until the 3rd Gen device in 2012, and then it was just Netflix. It wasn’t until 2015 that that Apple opened up the App Store to enable access to additional channels such as Hulu, etc. Roku has always been a streaming device with multiple channel options.

            Roku has been around as a mainstream streaming device for much longer than Apple TV. Apple TV, at it’s current price point isn’t likely to capture significant market share beyond those locked into the Apple eco-system. It just doesn’t do enough things better or easier than Roku or FireTV to justify the additional expense for a large number of people.

          • Thanks for pointing out the features of the 1st and 2nd gen Apple TVs. I wasn’t aware they were limited to iTunes content to that extent.

          • Todd

            Having a much lower cost than most of the other platforms, with the exception of the Amazon Fire devices, is a big reason for its popularity. The interface for the Roku is much simpler to navigate than the Fire platform, and it’s about 1/2 the cost of the average Apple TV or nVidia Shield. Roku also has the largest number of apps built for it, even if several of the newer services aren’t available for it yet.

          • Android is more standardized than Roku? In what ways?

          • Joseph ewing

            Yeah, yeah, yeah. Roku stinks and they’re going the way of the Buggy Whip according to you.

            Yet, they just had a killer Q1.

            http://cordcuttersnews.com/roku-sees-strong-growth-first-quarter-2017/

            Apparently the folks buying them haven’t been reading your stuff. Let’s work on that?

          • FranchisePlayer

            Tim, is that you?

          • Joseph ewing

            Apple TV is 140 bucks, with no cheaper option. Roku Streaming Stick is on sale today for 39 clams. And it works just fine.

            Is it perfect? Not close. But for less than 1/3 of the cost, it’s more than good enough.

        • Jason Neubauer

          Smh. Definitely the best remote out there is the roku app. Nice sizes. Easy to hold. Buttons to actually push. Not super small and buttonless like Apple and Amazon

          • Sunny Rain

            The roku remote doesn’t work for teens and people used to spending time on their phone.

          • So these people don’t use regular TV remotes or have game consoles? How does using a touchscreen a lot of the time mean people don’t like having physical buttons where appropriate?

          • Sunny Rain

            because physical remotes with big buttons are ugly

          • FranchisePlayer

            Do you have any evidence to support that claim? Are you more concerned with how the remote looks vs how it works? I’d agree that the Apple TV interface “looks” more modern and polished than Roku but the Apple TV remote is terrible.

            Most teens aren’t in the market for a streaming media device since mom and dad are likely footing the bill. Mom and dad want to be able to get to the shows they want to watch and if fumbling with a remote is too much work, they will opt for what is simple and works, most likely a Roku or possibly an Amazon TV since it’s remote is also very simple to use.

            Teens and people who spend time on their phone are probably going to watch their shows on their phone or tablet anyway so they don’t need a remote.

          • Sunny Rain

            Actually, teens are the ones in the market. They’re the biggest consumer of streaming media and that’s the biggest driver of cord-cutting. Trying to get to young people who spend more time online. If you look at companies that have data on TV and video consumption like YouTube, they made it clear that they’re targetting the young audience. And that’s why they focused on mobile version before the streaming devices.

            Old people are less likely to rely on streaming videos online, compared to teens. But they maybe comfortable with old-fashioned devices like Roku which have an old-style TV feel.

          • Joseph ewing

            Why? Teens and people in their 20’s don’t know how to use buttons?

            I thought they were so smart?

          • Sunny Rain

            They’re more advanced. They don’t need big buttons.

          • Joseph ewing

            I have children and grandchildren. They all use Roku in my house and have zero issues. I’ve never heard a single complaint. In fact, they like the ease of use.

            Also, as has been stated elsewhere, kids aren’t buying streaming solutions for home. Mom and Dad are.

            My 28 year old son who lives on his own uses PS Vue in his living room using his PS4. A much more robust interface than Roku. Yet, he uses a Streaming Stick in his bedroom because of the price and simplicity.

            But I know, I know….Roku sucks.

        • Since you don’t like Roku, why do you read their blog?

          • Sunny Rain

            If you don’t like bad guys, why do you watch news or TV shows or movies about bad guys?

        • Joseph ewing

          Yes we know Sunny, Roku sucks. We know this because you state something in that vein daily.

      • thefishhawk

        ditch the quick launch buttons for IR support power and volume for sure

    • jb0nez

      I cut the buttons off

      • Sunny Rain

        cool

  • Devin Serpa

    Cool.

  • mr Dave

    I also would rather see them remove the quick launch buttons and instead add an “info” button about the show you are watching and have the buttons glow in the dark so you can operate them while watching with lights out.

  • HeyRadar

    I was wondering why that message was coming up. I couldn’t reproduce it.

    I like the quick buttons though I don’t use them, cause they don’t match my services.

    I wish they were color coded, and reprogrammable.

  • vnazario

    Hello:

    For those of you who don’t like the Roku stock remote:

    You can use the phone/tablet soft remote app
    You can buy an inexpensive RCA universal remote with Roku codes. Just know that these remotes only work with units that have built-in IR ports. The Roku stick models do not have IR ports. These universal remotes work with all other Roku “boxes” and Roku TV’s. These remotes are sold for under $20 at your local Wal-Marts. You can also use Logitech Harmony remotes.

    Hope this information is helpful.

    • You could also get a Sideclick ( https://www.sideclickremotes.com/ ). They’re available for Roku, FireTV, Apple TV 4, and the Xiaomi Mi Box.

    • Joseph ewing

      I have a Harmony remote, but the older ones don’t support the non-IR devices – like the Streaming Stick.

      • vnazario

        Hi Joseph:

        That is true because Roku Sticks use Wi-Fi direct technology and not IR or bluetooth. So, for Roku stick users who don’t like the app buttons or the stock remote then using the Roku soft remote phone/tablet app is the best low cost approach. I am not sure but it is possible newer Harmony remotes support Wi-Fi direct but as you know, this line of remotes (harmony) are not cheap.

        • Joseph ewing

          You are correct. I also believe that Logitech offers a piece of equipment that takes the Roku WiFi signal and transfers it to IR. You point that device at the Streaming Stick. I might go that route.

        • jb0nez

          The Android Roku app doesn’t support the wifi direct audio streaming

    • jb0nez

      The tablet/phone app doesn’t stream audio–one of the most compelling features of the Roku remotes.

      • vnazario

        Hello:

        This statement is not entirely true, The “private listening feature” what you are referring to is available through the Roku official iOS/ Android app. But only if you have a supported Roku model. For example, the Roku stick will have this function on the remote app but my older 2 XS model won’t have this feature show on the remote app.

        • jb0nez

          I have a Roku 3, a remote with the wifi direct headphone jack, and the feature works. But when I use my phone with the Roku app as the remote, no, I can’t stream audio to my phone’s headphone jack.

          Unless the added in the last few weeks?

  • alstew2000

    I just slice them off with a razor blade.

  • Steve Clodfelter

    This is a great update! I have already reaped the benefits of it multiple times. I love when updates do something I can see. Now if only Sony would make a guide for Roku users.

    • Joseph ewing

      That would be awesome. I am a Roku fan, but PS Vue (my preferred Live TV app) is pathetic on the Roku. No Guide. No additional information on streams before you choose them.

  • FranchisePlayer

    I keep waiting for Logitech or some other company to make a universal remote for all of these streaming devices. A remote that has programmable buttons to get to your favorite apps, a volume button, headphone jack and easy to use tactile keys. I’m guessing someone figured out how to program one already but if it’s marketed well, a dedicated remote would be great.

  • jb0nez

    I long since sliced those obnoxious buttons off