Earlier this week, Roku made some Apple-related announcements including HomeKit and AirPlay 2 coming to its HD streaming devices and a dedicated Apple TV+ button coming on the Voice Remote Pro. However, it looks like early buyers of the remote won’t necessarily see that change due to a last-minute deal between the companies.
In some of the images Roku shared this week of the new Voice Remote Pro, there are four dedicated buttons for popular services: Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+, and Hulu. However, when Zatz Not Funny! writer Adam Miarka got his new Voice Remote Pro, it was missing the new Apple TV+ button, and instead has one for Sling.
Apparently, this is the same version that Roku sent to a limited amount of customers in a test back in February. When you check out the new $30 remote on the company’s website, the first image shows the shortcut buttons blank (they are programmable), with subsequent images showing the Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and Sling. And stock appears to be available now, hinting that it could be selling through the version with the Sling shortcut first and still working on getting Apple TV+ on the devices.
Roku even says in the second image of the remote on its website that “Channel shortcut buttons may vary.”
In response to Zatz Not Funny!, The Verge’s Chris Welch mentioned that Roku said the Voice Remote Pro will be “transitioning” to the Apple TV+ button, suggesting that the deal happened “very, very recently.”
Notably, the Amazon listing for the Roku Voice Remote Pro shows the same first image with blank shortcut buttons, but the following pictures with the Apple TV+ button, along with a 1-2 month wait time.
It sounds like it may be tricky to know if you’ll get the Apple TV+ button for sure but the best option, for now, is to probably wait to pick up the Voice Remote Pro if that’s an important factor for you. The shortcut buttons are programmable, but for Apple users, having Sling printed on one instead of Apple TV+ may be frustrating.
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