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Roku’s next software update might let you disable auto-play for good

Published Mar 14th, 2024 3:13PM EDT
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Image: Roku

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Last fall, Roku began rolling out its Roku OS 12.5 software update, which upgraded the Live TV Channel Guide, integrated Google Photos into Roku Photo Streams, and gave the Roku mobile app an overhaul. Then, in February, Roku made the Roku OS 13.0 beta available to developers and while we still don’t know much about the update, a new report suggests that it will include a solution to an annoying problem that plagues all of us occasionally.

Again, Roku has yet to share any specifics about the next software update. It seems fairly likely that Roku’s Smart Picture feature, which was unveiled alongside its Pro Series TVs, will be part of Roku OS 13.0, but that has yet to be officially confirmed.

In an FAQ on its website, Roku said that with Smart Picture, “your settings automatically adjust to the type of content you’re watching, so you always see your favorite shows at their best.” We also know this feature will expand beyond the Pro Series.

But that’s not the exciting feature we’re here to discuss. According to Cord Cutter News, several developers claim that one of the new features in Roku OS 13.0 will allow users to disable auto-play on every app with the press of a single button in the settings menu.

Auto-play can be a blessing and a curse. If I’m binge-watching a series on a Saturday afternoon, I do not mind if the streaming service immediately loads up the next episode as soon as the last one ends. But if I’ve only got time for one episode, I hate scrambling to find the remote and exit out of the app before a new episode suddenly starts playing.

I bet there are thousands of Roku users who will take advantage of this feature as soon as it arrives. The bad news is that we still have no idea when to expect Roku OS 13.0. Over the past few years, major Roku software updates have rolled out in March or April, so if the company sticks to that schedule, we could see 13.0 within the next few weeks.

Roku could certainly use the good press. The company has been rocked by two significant scandals over the past few days, from outrage over disabling devices until users agreed to new terms to notifying users that thousands of accounts had been hacked.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.