If you go all-in on Roku’s new Voice Remote Pro, you may end up getting one sans the Apple TV+ button seen in marketing materials.
When I was shipped a Voice Remote Pro last week, the one I received had four streaming buttons on the wand: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and Sling TV. But marketing images for the Pro depicted the remote with the Hulu button scooched over on the bottom row and an Apple TV+ button in place of a Sling shortcut. The discrepancy was initially spotted by Zatz Not Funny!, and Roku confirmed to Gizmodo that the remote with the Apple TV+ button will take a minute to begin 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,” a spokesperson said.
Indeed, a pair of programmable buttons are one of a handful of great things about the Voice Remote Pro, which is also rechargeable. In addition to its “find my remote” and hands-free features, personalized shortcut keys will allow Apple TV+ subscribers to get around this hiccup fairly easily. The button issue will, however, likely be annoying to anyone who is not a Sling subscriber but is a paying customer of Apple’s service.
It’s unclear why the button was depicted in marketing materials and why the change appears to have happened so late in the game. But it does indicate that Roku has doubled down on its initiative to win over Apple users, even for a service that’s fairly new to the space and still working to build up a substantial library of originals.
Roku has aggressively expanded support for Apple users who opt for its streaming devices over Apple’s own set-top boxes, which are significantly more expensive than many of Roku’s devices. Roku finally introduced AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support on its 4K devices with the Roku OS 9.4 update, and its inclusion of the Apple TV+ button directly on its remotes further demonstrates the company’s willingness to target Apple users.
But it does appear that marketing materials jumped the gun a bit. So if an Apple TV+ button is a make-or-break upgrade requirement for you, it looks like we may have to wait a few months before we’ll start seeing it become widely available.