In March, Play Movies & TV received a big Android and iOS update that made it a hub to content found on other streaming apps, while last week Google Home gained the ability to control and Cast the service. This week, the Roku channel is being updated with a whole new design, simpler navigation, and recommendation features.
The revamped client is a marked improvement to the current iteration, with Google noting that every page has been redesigned. Gone is the heavy reliance on scrolling, as well as top carousel of the app’s various sections. For comparison, the app’s previous look is below.
Adopting the look of Oreo Android TV apps is a new left hand side navigation menu that is always accessible. Users previously would have to scroll back up to switch pages, while Search was the only feature always available.
Underneath the Play Movies & TV logo in the top-left corner are shortcuts to Search, Home, TV, Genres, Library, and Settings. The Home tab features a row of content to “Watch next” with large cards that include the watch progress. New Movie Releases are below with a denser interface better suited for large screens.
A new dedicated TV page allows users to just view that content with another single-purpose Watch Next carousel at the top. Meanwhile, similar to the recommendations focus of the mobile apps, users can look for content by genre. “Deeper recommendations” features filtering and individual collections, like new comedy releases, top rated comedies, and Oscar-nominated comedies.
The channel supports features like Play Family Library, with the new look rolling out to Roku devices over the next few days.