Roku Rolls Out OS 11 Update with Personalized Photo Screensaver and More

The latest free software update lacks the pizzazz of previous iterations but still adds a few useful features.

Sarah Lord Writer
Sarah Lord covers TVs and home entertainment. Prior to joining CNET, Sarah served as the tech and electronic reviews fellow at Insider, where she wrote about everything from smart watches and wearables to tablets and e-readers. She began her career by writing laptop reviews as an intern and subsequent freelancer at Tom's Hardware. She is also a professional actor with many credits in theater, film and television.
Expertise TVs, Home Entertainment, Streaming, Computers Credentials
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Sarah Lord
2 min read

Roku OS 11 now offers a way to share photos through your device.


Your Roku is getting a software update. On Tuesday, Roku debuted its new operating system, Roku OS 11. The new OS doesn't offer too many upgrades from version 10.5, which was released in September. But it does add the ability to upload photos to use as the screensaver on your device. 

Users will be able to transfer images directly to their Roku from their phone or computer. They will also be able to share their photo albums with their Roku-owning friends and family, who then have the opportunity to add their own pictures to the photo stream. 

Additionally, Roku is adding a new "What to Watch" section on the home screen, where you'll see a personalized selection of new titles from across media platforms. The section is updated regularly and curated based on popular and trending content. 

In January, the home screen was also updated to include a Live TV Zone where users can see content from the Roku Channel and other cord-cutting services, such as YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV and Sling TV. In OS 11, users will be able to view their recently watched live TV from the Roku Channel directly from the home screen. 

Other improvements in OS 11 include new sound modes for Roku Streambars and speakers, a new calibration tool on the Roku mobile app for syncing supported audio devices and the addition of Spanish, German, and Portuguese to voice-enabled keyboards. 

The new operating system will begin appearing on supported Roku devices in the coming weeks.

Roku has a long history of sending out updates to improve its product. The company typically releases new versions of its operating system at least two times a year. Recent OS enhancements include automatic game console detection, increased Apple AirPlay support, and improved voice control. 

Competing streaming devices, including Chromecast with Google TVApple TV and Amazon Fire TV, have long had the ability to customize their screensavers with personalized photos, and also offer personalized recommendations and separate sections for live TV.

Correction, March 23: The recently watched live TV content on the home screen is only available for the Roku Channel. Other cable alternatives are currently not supported.