Do you find yourself wasting time searching for shows on your Roku one letter at a time with the Roku remote? This slow typing, hunt-and-peck experience is one of the most frustrating parts of using the otherwise great Roku streaming device. Well, if you’ve ever wished you could type faster on Roku, don’t worry – there’s an app for that! The Roku keyboard is coming to the rescue.

Side note: Also check out our guide on what to do if you’re in a Lost Roku Remote situation!

The Roku keyboard is a great way to overcome the cumbersome and annoying process of slowly scrolling over to each letter, one at a time, on your Roku remote. It turns the painstakingly slow process of typing out the names of your favorite TV shows and movies into the search bar, into something you can handle quickly and easily from your mobile device. Interested? We bet you are.

We like to make things easy, so this guide is going to give you everything you need to install and use the Roku app for Android and iPhone. Stop wasting time entering text letter-by-letter on your Roku, and even add some Private Roku channels while you’re at it!




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ROKU HACK #397: After you install the Roku app on your phone, you can plug headphones into your phone to listen to the audio that’s being streamed on your Roku! Once you’ve plugged in your headphones, just press the headphones button in the Roku app. No more waking up loved ones watching re-runs of The Bachelor (we’ve all been there). Just plug in your headphones and listen to your soaps quietly.

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Roku App Search

Benefits of Using Roku App

Let’s talk about the upsides of using the Roku app on your phone or tablet, because there are a lot of them.

1. Roku Keyboard

You know all of those years you’ve spent practicing speed texting on your phone? Well they’re finally going to pay off. With the Roku app, you get to use your Roku keyboard on your phone. to enter text into your Roku. The difference is night and day. What used to take 5 minutes of scrolling through the alphabet of your remote (plus all the added frustration of going back if you accidentally misspell something), can be done in the same amount of time it takes to send a “Hey, u up?” text to your regular Netflix and chill date.

It also makes it a breeze to add Roku channels – private or public. Don’t worry, we’ll show you how to do this in just a bit.

2. Ability to Install New Roku Apps Right From Your Phone (Super Easy and Fast!)

Installing new Roku channels (aka apps) from your phone couldn’t be easier. After you sign in to your Roku account using the Roku smartphone app, just use the Roku app to install new Roku channels.

We break it down step by step below.

How to Install Roku Apps Using Your Phone

At the bottom of the Roku app:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select Sign In
  3. Enter the email address and password you used when you first set up your Roku device
  4. After that, go to the official Roku store and add channels

To add private Roku channels:

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  1. Go to your Roku account
  2. Click Add Channel
  3. Enter the code
  4. Select Add Channel to finish adding the channel.

If you want insider info on the best private channels and more information on how to install them, check out our article:

3. Voice Commands

You know what’s even faster than typing? Talking! Voice command is one of the best underused features for Roku and can save you a ton of time. It’s even faster than the Roku keyboard in a lot of cases. To give Roku voice commands from your phone simply:

  1. Press the Voice button on the Roku App
  2. Say a search term or give a command (example: Open Hulu)

That’s all you need to do have Roku perform a voice search. Try this out when it’s late at night and even typing on your phone feels like a little too much effort.

Roku App Headphones

4. Listen to Your Roku Using Headphones Connected to Your Phone!

One excellent feature Roku has is to listen through headphones connected to your smartphone. We already teased this feature above. Can you tell we love it?

For many Android users and people with older iPhones, this is a no-brainer, since those phones usually have headphone jacks. If you happen to have a newer phone without a headphone jack, you may need to get a charging-port-to-audio adapter on Amazon to connect earbuds to your smartphone.

You can also use Bluetooth headphones to listen to Roku audio! Below are the steps you’ll take to do this.

How to Listen to Roku Audio Through Headphones

  1. Plug a pair of earbuds or headphones into your phone’s headphone jack (or connect wireless headphones via Bluetooth)
  2. Press the Headphones button in the Roku app on your phone.

Congratulations! Your Roku streaming device now broadcasts whatever audio is playing on your Roku through your headphones. This is great for any situation where you want to watch something without everyone else in the house knowing about it.

How to Setup Roku App and Keyboard

Now for the main event. We’ve hyped up all the reasons you would want to have the Roku app on your phone, and now we’re going to show you how to set up and use the Roku app on your Roku streaming device.

Before We Start:

Make sure your phone is connected to the same WiFi as your Roku. This ensures that the two devices can communicate with each other. If you’re having trouble connecting your Roku app to your Roku streaming device, this is probably the problem.

Getting Started:

  1. Open the app store on your phone (Android app store or iPhone app store)
  2. Search for Roku
  3. Download and Install the Roku app

After you’ve successfully downloaded and installed the Roku app, open the app on your phone. You will have a virtual version of every button on the actual physical Roku remote.

You also gain access to the Roku keyboard which solves the issue of slow text input using the stock Roku remote.

One major benefit of having access to this virtual Roku keyboard is that we can use it to quickly and easily sign in to Private Roku channels. It also makes signing in with your email and password very easy (for 3rd party apps AND stock Roku apps).

No more time wasted slowly typing out long email addresses one letter at a time! That alone makes the Roku app a treasure.

Roku App Remote Screen

Buttons in the Roku Keyboard App

Roku ButtonFunction
ChannelsDisplays the channels on your Roku streaming device
What’s OnA quick display of what shows and movies are available on your Roku box
RemoteThis is a virtual version of the actual, physical Roku remote
SettingsBrings up the advanced settings area of the Roku app. Here you can sign in to your Roku account to enable installing apps on your Roku device by just using the Roku phone app.

Search Roku Using Roku Keyboard

So now that you’re all set up, how do you get started searching shows and movies with your Roku keyboard. Like everything else with this app, it’s super easy!

  1. Press the Keyboard button at the bottom of the Roku app.
  2. Then just use your phone to enter a search term.

This will search your entire Roku device for whatever you enter into the search box. It’s the fastest way to find shows and movies to watch, and means you’ll never have to scroll a giant tv screen covered in letters ever again.