How to Add Apps to a Roku Device or Roku TV
Roku has been a popular streaming device for some time now. People looking to cut the cord with their cable providers and enjoy an affordable, easy-to-use online TV experience find Roku provides just that.
This article will show various ways to add apps to Roku to boost your streaming experience.
How to Add Apps to a Roku Device
Installing Roku apps on the device works like adding apps to your smartphone. Apps like a game or tool can help you get the most out of your Roku device. Some good examples include Screen Cast, which lets you cast a video from your smartphone to your TV, and Downloader, which enables you to install developer beta apps.
Note: You CANNOT add third-party apps to your Roku device (APK, DEB, etc.) unless you jailbreak it. The only non-official apps you can install include beta apps released by developers for the Roku OS.
You can add apps to the Roku device in three ways:
- Use the Roku Mobile app.
- Use your Roku device directly.
- Visit the Roku website.
Let’s see how each approach works.
How to Add Official Apps Using the Roku Mobile App
The Roku App (Official) mobile app is convenient when adding apps to your Roku box or TV.
Roku apps could include a new game for your kids or a fancy channel airing your favorite new show. It could also be an all-music channel letting you enjoy authentic, soothing music from your favorite artists, or you can install tools like Downloader. Whatever the case, adding apps to your Roku device has never been more straightforward, as long as it is from the Roku library or is a developer beta release for Roku and found on the Roku website.
To add an app using “The Roku App (Official)” mobile app:
- Launch the Android/iOS/iPhone “Roku” app. Once installed, it just says “Roku.”
- Scroll down to the bottom of the Home Screen, then tap “Go to Store” in the “Recommended” section.
- Tap “View All” to see all featured channels under the “Featured” section (the top half of the screen), or select a “Genre,” such as “Movies & TV.”
- Scroll through the list to find the app you want to add, then tap on it.
- In the app screen that appears, tap the “Add” button to add the channel to your device.
- If the channel is free, it should download and install on your device immediately. You’ll be redirected to the purchase page if it’s a paid channel.
The Roku mobile app is available for both iOS and Android devices.
How to Add Official Apps Using the Roku Website
If you don’t fancy using the mobile app, the Roku website is where you can find all the apps available for your Roku TV or box. All you need to do is sign in to your account and add any app you want to install. Here are the steps:
- Visit the “Roku Channel Store“ and enter your account information to sign in.
- Browse through the categories to find the channel you wish to add. You can enter it by name in the search bar at the top of the page if you know it.
- Click on “Details” to learn more about the channel, such as its features and pricing information.
- Click the “+ Add Channel” button to add the app. Free channels get added immediately, but subscription-based channels can only be added after making the required payments.
How to Add Official Apps Using Your Roku Device
If you haven’t installed the Roku mobile app and perhaps don’t have time to visit the official Roku website, you can conveniently add channels using your Roku device. This is how you do it:
- Open the “Home” menu using your Roku remote.
- Select “Streaming Channels” from the sidebar on the left. This should launch the Roku app store.
- If you know the channel name you’d like to add, enter it in the search box, and the channel’s submenu should open in a few moments. Otherwise, browse the categories to find what you want.
- When you find the channel you want, press “OK” on the remote to view its synopsis.
- If you want the selected app, choose “Add channel.” However, subscription-based channels come with a “Buy” button.
- Before installation begins, you’ll be prompted to enter your “PIN” if you’ve already created one for your Roku account.
How to Add Third-Party Apps to a Roku Device Using Downloader
You can download and install non-certified channels to your Roku device through the website using the Downloader option. But first, what’s the difference between certified and non-certified channels?
Certified channels are “official” channels that run on any Roku device, and the company has approved them. Non-certified channels are those that someone created but have not yet been submitted to be certified. They exist because Roku allows developers to distribute newly created channels to a limited number of users for testing. A non-certified channel is unavailable on the Roku app store and can only be downloaded using a dedicated channel code (e.g., PG184).
To add non-certified channels to a Roku device:
- Visit the “official Roku website“ on your phone or computer and enter your account details to sign in.
- Click on your “profile” icon in the top right section.
- Under the “Manage Account” tab, select “Add Channel Code.”
- Enter the channel code provided by the developer and then select “Add Channel.”
- You’ll be prompted to acknowledge that you’re about to install a non-certified channel. Once that’s out of the way, it will download and install on your Roku device.
All newly downloaded channels are added to your Home screen on your Roku device. The newest one appears at the bottom of the list.
Can you install an APK on a Roku device?
The answer is no; you can’t install an APK (Android Package Kit) on a Roku device because Roku is a closed operating system. You can’t download and install apps that aren’t in the Roku app store or the non-certified channel list.
However, some users have been able to install APK files (which extend the device’s features) on Roku and run them using hacked software. This is not recommended, as there is no guarantee that such hacks will continue to work with future updates.
Can you install third-party apps on Roku?
Yes, you can, but only if the app is on the non-certified list of apps developers have submitted for approval.
What are the most popular Roku apps?
The most popular Roku apps include the following:
1. Peacock (Paid)
2. Amazon Prime Video (Paid)
3. Netflix (Paid)
4. Pluto (Free)
5. Disney Plus (Paid)
6. Crackle (Free)
7. Max (formerly HBO Max) (Paid)
8. Tubi (Free)
9. YouTube Channel (Free)
10. Hulu (Free and Paid)
Improve Your Viewing Experience
Whether you’re looking for new ways to enjoy your favorite content or want to explore something different, Roku offers a wide variety of channels that can be added in just a few clicks. In this article, we’ve outlined the steps to add apps to your Roku device to improve your viewing experience and get the most out of Roku.
What’s your favorite channel on Roku? Let us know in the comments section below.