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 newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags RokuWindows 10

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

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?