What you need to know
- Apple TV has been getting the update for a week already.
- Roku users should see the update roll out this week.
- It looks much better.
Sling TV today announced a fairly major refresh of its user interface on Roku devices and Apple TV. (It's been rolling out to the Apple TV folks for the past week or so, and it's possible you've already noticed. But if not, consider yourself informed!)
Let's start with the Roku improvements, since they're a bit newer. (And haven't rolled out to as many people yet.)
For me, the bigger improvement comes with the player controls. In addition to looking pretty sweet, they're also functional. Here's what Sling had to say about it:
We've updated the layout of our player controls, so you can easily play, pause and record content, as well as add shows to your favorites, turn on closed captioning and more. By scrolling down, you'll also be able to recall multiple recent channels.
You'll also get more information before you even start to watch a show, thanks to an improved info screen. It's now gone full-screen, with big, bold graphics and more info on additional seasons available on Sling.
There are other smaller (but noticeable!) changes as well, including a new standout selection color that lets you "easily identify where you are in a ribbon or list of content." Also, the carousel — basically the horizontal lists of shows — now scroll all the way through and begin again at the beginning, meaning you won't have to go all the way back from one side to the other if you want to start over.
On the Apple TV front, the Information View has gotten a pretty major improvement. Again, here's how Sling puts things:
You'll notice that the top half of your Sling TV screen now features information about the tiles of content as you scroll over them. This allows you to start streaming content even faster than before, as you only need to click once to start watching. The "My TV," "On Now," "Guide" and other tabs can now be found in the center of your Sling TV screen. And, by swiping up on the information header from anywhere in the app, you'll be brought back to the tabs menu.
You may also notice that when switching between channels and returning to the channel you were previously watching, you no longer receive a pop-up asking you to resume playing, watch live or start from the beginning. We've removed this pop-up so you can start watching TV faster, with fewer interruptions.
The search screen also has had a refresh, showing "popular searches" updated daily. And results will now be shuffled into categories to make it easier to find what you want.
Roku Streaming Stick+ ($58 at Amazon)
Great ease, right price
All the Roku features you want at a price that you don't have to think twice about.
Apple TV 4K ($199 at Amazon)
The best box you can buy!
Apple TV isn't cheap, but it's also the best streaming box you can buy for your TV.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.