Roku's new universal Windows 10 app avoids Windows Phones

Another big app goes UWP and another big app ignores mobile completely. Wasn't it supposed to be easy to port these apps to mobile?

Streaming set-top box maker Roku recently announced a brand new universal Windows platform (UWP) app for Windows 10. But just as we’ve seen with other companies, a Windows Phone version is nowhere in sight despite the “universal” name. Instead, the new Roku app is for laptops and tablets only.

In fact, Roku said it built the app working closely with Microsoft to create an app that was ideal for the larger screens that laptops and tablets offer. This is also the first Roku app designed for tablets.

As you’d expect in Windows 10 universal apps, the new Roku app features Cortana integration for improved search. There’s also a new homepage design that provides quick access to your My Channels list. The Remote screen features Roku’s typical look, but includes the My Channels list right next to it—an advantage of focusing on larger screens—for easier access.

Finally, the new app includes the Play on Roku feature for putting your photos and music on your TV.

The story behind the story: Windows 10 Mobile is essentially dead, but it’s interesting that Microsoft’s “Hail Mary” play is being ignored by almost everyone. Part of the appeal of UWP is supposed to be that you can easily put your app on multiple Windows 10 platforms such as the PC, tablets, Xbox, Hololens, and mobile. Yet very few companies are choosing to go with the mobile option.

Facebook's promising a UWP mobile version of Facebook and Messenger that has yet to appear, and Twitter’s Vine skipped over mobile completely. Like Vine, Roku seems to content to let its Windows Phone 8 app remain in the Windows Store for the few users looking to get Roku on a Windows phone. So much for the ease of developers porting their apps between Windows 10 device types.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Windows 10Roku

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?