(Pocket-lint) - Roku is updating its operating system for existing current-generation Roku media streamers. It starts to roll out in mid-October and brings several key new features to the platform. Those with an Android smartphone or iPhone will also get a new version of the Roku app too.

Roku OS 7 looks familiar for those already used to the current version of the user interface, but the new features are designed to make it easier to use and, more importantly, to find content geared to you.

After all, there are more than 1,700 channels available to download to a Roku box or Streaming Stick so while the cross-service search functionality is great, the company's new features should make it even more intuitive.


What's new in Roku 7?

Roku Feed

As an extension on Roku Feed, which gave users the chance to follow a movie and be alerted when that film appears on one of the channels, ready to be streamed, Roku owners will now also be able to follow actors, directors and TV shows too.

If they do so, they will get automatic updates whenever any content relevant to their follows appears on the platform. These will show in the Feed section of the menu system and notifications will show when there is new content or changes in price. Updates are now clearly marked.


Hotel and university use

Like Amazon Fire TV, Roku devices will now be able to be used in hotel rooms, university dorms or any location that requires separate internet log in information other than user name and password.

For example, most hotels require room number and guest name to log into the internet, whether that is free or paid for. Users just need open the Roku Mobile App for iOS and Android and enter the details through there instead and the linked Roku device will log in.


Mobile app is now more powerful

The new version of the free mobile application makes it easier to access key features, such as Roku Search, Roku Feed, Remote Control and Play on Roku. In addition, the new Feed notifications also show on the app, giving users a more clear way of seeing that new content is available for the entertainment they follow.

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There is also new pinch to zoom functionality for photo viewing through Play on Roku. And the app can be used to find and add data to follow in the Roku Feed.

When will I get Roku OS 7?

As previously mentioned, Roku is rolling out the new operating system from the middle of the month.

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Writing by Rik Henderson.