If you bet everything on Roku’s new Voice Remote Pro, you may end up getting one without the Apple TV + button seen in marketing materials.
When they sent me a Voice Remote Control Pro last week, the one I got had four cast buttons on the wand: Netflix, Disney +, Hulu, and Sling TV. But the marketing images for the Pro showed the remote with the Hulu button in the bottom row and an Apple TV + button instead of a Sling shortcut. The discrepancy was initially detected by Zatz is not funny!, and Roku confirmed to Gizmodo that the remote with the Apple TV + button will take a minute to start shipping.
“The button transition on the Roku Voice Remote Pro will take a few months, but in the meantime customers can use their voice to program a personal shortcut button to launch their favorite channels,” said a spokesperson.
In fact, a couple of programmable buttons are one of the few great things about the Voice Remote Pro, which is also rechargeable. In addition to his “find my remote” and hands-free features, custom hotkeys will allow Apple TV + subscribers to overcome this problem quite easily. However, the button problem is likely to be annoying to anyone who is not a Sling subscriber but a paying Apple customer Service.
It is unclear why the button was depicted in the marketing materials and why the change appears to have occurred so late in the game. But it does indicate that Roku has redoubled its initiative to win over Apple users, including for a service that is fairly new to the space and is still working to build a substantial library of originals.
Roku has aggressively expanded support for Apple users who choose to stream devices over Apple’s set-top boxes, which are significantly more expensive than many of Roku’s devices. Roku finally inserted Support for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit on its 4K devices with the Roku OS 9.4 update, and the inclusion of the Apple TV + button directly on its remote controls further demonstrates the company’s willingness to target Apple users.
But it seems that the marketing materials got a little ahead of time. So if an Apple TV + button is a decisive upgrade requirement for you, it looks like we’ll have to wait a few months before we start to see that it’s widely available.