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Apple TV app now available on select Roku devices, Apple TV+ coming November 1

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The Apple TV app is now available to be downloaded and added to your Roku device.  It’s been previously reported that Roku is one of the platforms that will support Apple’s AirPlay 2 video and audio streaming technology, and it was suspected that support for the Apple TV app would also be announced.

Once it launches on November 1, 2019, Apple TV+ will also be available within the Apple TV app on Roku, according to a Roku press release. “With the Apple TV app coming to Roku, our customers will enjoy an even broader range of exciting entertainment, including the highly anticipated Apple TV+ service,” said Scott Rosenberg, Roku’s senior vice president and general manager of platform business.

Not all Roku devices will support the Apple TV app, however. Roku has created a dedicated page so you can see if your particular model is compatible. In general, most Roku devices from the past several years will work, but some media players from as recently as 2016 will not. For instance, only the 3800X version of the Roku Streaming Stick (released in 2017) will support the Apple TV app, while older models will not be getting access to the new channel.

In addition to the U.S., the Apple TV app is available to Roku users in the following markets: Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Republic of Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

The addition of the Apple TV app to Roku is a critical step for Apple as it seeks to build an audience not only for its TV experience but also for its video streaming service, Apple TV+. In the past, a lack of availability of Amazon Prime Video on Chromecast and YouTube TV on Amazon Fire TV streamers hurt both companies‘ ability to compete with Netflix, which enjoys wide hardware support.

Amazon hasn’t yet confirmed that the Apple TV app will be available on the Amazon Fire TV, but it may be added immediately prior to the launch of the streaming service, or afterward. Demand for Apple TV+ may end up being the deciding factor if it turns out that consumers start choosing Roku devices over Fire TV devices so they can access the service.

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the official nature of Roku’s support for AirPlay 2. AirPlay 2 is reportedly coming to Roku devices.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
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