Roku is a great way to watch movies and TV. They are also excellent Plex clients.
Every Roku device ships with a hardware remote that can be replaced or upgraded. Roku, Inc. offers a diversity of remotes that have changed slightly over time. But are free Roku Remote apps better? Let's find out.
Some physical remotes have buttons for specific apps like Amazon Video, Vudu, Netflix, Crackle, Pandora, YouTube and others. Other remotes have extra buttons for playing games, and there are plenty of fun games available in the Roku Channel Store. [Read: 9 Best Roku Remote Replacement Options – BETTER than Official?]
Other remotes have headphone jacks and volume controls that interact directly with newer TVs. Roku also now sells Alexa-compatible voice remotes, which free you from having to use an on-screen keyboard.
There are times, however, when every remote has its day. Or perhaps every remote does not.
- You may not be able to find a hardware remote because someone else watched TV.
- You might not be able to figure out which remote goes to which Roku and your show is starting.
- A remote might not work because the batteries are dead and there are no batteries on-hand.
This is no need to abandon your place on the couch. You can easily use a free Roku mobile app to control your Roku TV right on your smartphone or tablet.
Table of Contents
- Best free Roku remote apps
- Best Free Roku Mobile Apps Comparison
- Concluding remarks on free remote apps for Roku
Best free Roku remote apps
There are are many Roku remote control apps. Which one is good for "you"?
This list will help you. It is based on software features as well as how many devices the app supports. Also considered is the availability for iOS and Android operating systems.
Many devices are better simply because you can use them on a smartwatch, iPad, iPod or real computer running Mac. Some universal remote apps for Roku provide support for infrared technology such as an IR. Some smartphones have IR transmitters.
Is your head spinning yet? Let's break it down.
The official free Roku remote app by Roku, Inc. is the best free Roku mobile app out there. It has all the same features as any third-party free Roku mobile app and provides some features for free that other Roku remote apps provide only with a premium upgrade.
The official remote app is compatible with all Roku smart TVs, Roku players and streaming sticks. It allows you to add channels and browse content all on one screen, letting you launch apps and shows right on your iPhone or Android.
The official Roku mobile app supports private listening, which lets you stream from Roku device to a remote or a phone with a headphones jack. It uses your phone's hardware for audio playback. If you have a good phone, this provides a truly quality listening experience.
For my private listening, I use the OneOdio A70 Bluetooth-Over-Ear Wireless Headphones because they have a 3.5mm/6.35mm stereo jack for private listening.
The offical Roku remote is compatible with:
- Apple Watch
2. Rokie Mobile App for Roku
Rokie is a free Roku remote app for iPhone and Android that is compatible with all Roku smart TV brands and devices. It provides GUI controls to simulate a real remote. You can adjust the volume and switch TV channels on a Roku smart TV.
The channel lineup displays with large icons. Rokie has a simple, user-friendly interface that is just as easy to use on a smartwatch as a smartphone. You can use tablet or other device with a larger screen.
Rokie also give you content playback control like pause, forward, rewind and play. The keypad makes it easy to input text, and you can navigate using the graphical buttons or GUI's touchpad very easily.
Rokie Roku Remote is compatible with:
- Android Wear
3. RoByte Remote App for Roku
With RoByte there is no setup required because RoByte will automatically scan for your devices. You can pair RoByte with multiple devices, and adjust volume on any Roku TV. This free Roku remote app for iPhone and Android provides a D-pad and Swipe-pad GUI controls.
Some additional features come from the premium version. An easy channel switcher allows you to browse shows. You can also use your keyboard for entering text on displays and voice features. You can also view all your TV channels on one screen and open them from one remote app.
You can pair RoByte with multiple devices. With widgets you can customize, you can launch Roku channels and apps directly from your homescreen. RoByte also gives you the option to keep WiFi from sleeping, which is great when you are traveling and your device is operating on battery.
RoByte Remote for Roku is compatible with:
- Android Wear
The RoByte remote app for Roku has a limit of 3 devices before which purchasing a premium version is necessary.
4. Roku Remote Control by EVOLLY
The EVOLLY.APP free Roku remote app for iPhone and Android offers simplicity in a GUI with advanced features but does not force the user to make a lot of decisions. If that is your preference, the EVOLLY.APP soft remote is the best option for you.
The free Roku mobile app by by EVOLLY detects Roku TVs, players and streaming sticks automatically. It works with all Roku versions. It works as easily as the hardware remote and provides a custom keyboard for text input. With a large touchpad for menu and content navigation, launching channels directly from the application is fast and easy.
You may wonder why it comes in fourth before the rest here, but that is simply because it is compatible with both Apple and Android. If you are like me and use both Apple and Android devices, this is important. The rest on this list are only compatible with Android.
The EVOLLY.APP Roku TV Remote is compatible with:
The downside is that the EVOLLY Roku remote only allows one device. If you want simplicity and have onely one Roku device, then this is the one for you.
5. RoSpikes Roku Remote
RoSpikes is the best free Roku remote app for Android, but for Android only. It would rank higher but it is not available in the Apple App Store, but it has it all. It even supports Photo slideshows, which allow you to stream photos from your Roku to your phone.
RoSpikes performs automatic scans for Roku devices when it is launched. It doesn't matter if WiFi isn't available because RoSpikes also supports IR.
RoSpikes also allows you to input text from your phone directly to your TV with its inbuilt keyboard. All Roku real remote buttons are supported by the RoSpikes Roku remote. RoSpikes has a clean GUI and also provides long-press support on navigational buttons.
You can also easily power on and off or adjust the volume on your TV. You can toggle HDMI and other input sources. You can shake your phone to play or pause the show (this is a cool feature in my opinion).
RoSpikes Roku Remote is made for Android.
6. Roku Remote by Quanticapps
You can use this free Roku mobile app with Android Wear to control the TV from your wrist. This softare remote is very easy to use and well designed for browsing content. With a keyboard and simulated trackpad you can search and login to channels and apps more easily.
Handy homescreen widgets make this soft remote easy to access from your smartphone. This soft remote also allows you to manage your channels. It also has volume controls for smart TVs. The reason Quanticapps is ranked sixth here because it supports Android Wear.
Quanticapps Roku Remote compatibility for Android varies by device. Try to install this Roku remote on phone from Google Play to check for compatibility. Google Play will not install an app that is incompatible with your device.
One little downside of this app is the 6 Roku devices limit. In real-world though this should not be a problem as most people do not have 6 Roku devices around them.
7. Roku Remote by SoulApps Studio
Android developers since 2019, SoulApps Studio is a reliable source of software applications, currently with many apps in Google Play.
This free Roku remote app has popular functions such as Roku screen mirroring for all Roku channels.
The SoulApps soft remote also has infrared transmitter support for use with an IR blaster or IR receiver. It can cast a stream from a Roku device to any TV with WiFi.
This soft remote is also compatible with all TV brands that makes special Roku models, and all major smart TV brands and operating systems.
One other important feature to always note is direct TV volume control.
SoulApps Studio Roku Remote runs on Android.
8. Roku Remote by TV Master
The Roku Remote Control for Android by TV Master supports all Roku devices with Wifi and IR. You can cast to any TV from your phone and directly launch apps and channels on the Roku. Because it is connected by WiFi you can control your Roku device from your phone even after you leave the room.
The TV Master Roku soft remote has a power button and volume control for all Roku-compatible smart TVs. It provides easy access to channels with touchscreen tablets and smartphones, allowing you to launch them directly from your phone.
TV Master Remote for Roku runs on Android.
Best Free Roku Mobile Apps Comparison
|Remote App||Key Features||Android||iOS||Android Wear||IR|
|Official Roku Remote by Roku, Inc.||Entirely free, compatible with all Roku TVs, responsive and easy to use||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Rokie by Kraftwerk 9, Inc.||Input text, playback controls, large icons||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|RoByte by TinyByte, LLC||Free and paid, easy channel switcher, input text||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Roku Remote Control by EVOLLY.APP||Simple setup, no configuration or advanced controls, entirely automated||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|RoSpikes by Spikes Lab||Toggle inputs such as HDMI, long-press support, shake and pause or play||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Roku Remote by Quanticapps||Compatible with Android Wear, homescreen widget, free and paid versions||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Roku Remote by SoulApps Studio||Screen mirroring, infrared transmitter, directly launching channels||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Roku Remote by TV Master||Volume control, easy power on/off, WiFi and IR||Yes||No||No||Yes|
Can I get a free Roku remote?
Google Play and the Apple App Store host a wide variety of free and paid Roku remote apps. You can get a free Roku remote app with the features you want if you shop around, but to get one that does everything you want it to you may have to spend a small bit of change.
What is the best free app for Roku Remote?
The best free app for Roku remote is the Official Roku remote. It works on all the same devices as the best third-party free Roku mobile apps, including Apple watchOS and macOS. You can also enjoy private listening with a headphones jack and good pair of headphones.
How much does it cost to get a Roku remote?
Paid remotes apps in Google Play are convenient and add features you cannot get with a hardware remote. Features such as private listening require a hardware remote and it is impractical to not have one. You can get one made specifically for Roku devices between 10 and 30 dollars. [Read: 9 Best Roku Remote Replacement Options – BETTER than Official?]
How do I use my phone as a Roku remote?
By installing one of the above free mobile Roku apps you can use your touchscreen or the microphone on your smartphone the same as you would any hardware remote. Remote apps display a screen for remote controls in the GUI. You can launch a Roku channel directly from inside a soft remote.
Concluding remarks on free remote apps for Roku
A hardware remote cannot be replaced in many ways. You can use one and talk on your phone instead of using a software remote. I would not replace a hardware remote with a soft remote entirely.
Controlling your Roku TV using hardware remote is much faster, tactile, and overall a better experience compared to Roku mobile remote apps. And some of the third-party Roku remotes even offer programmable keys.
But, today, it is rare you will be without your phone. So in the event that you lost your Roku remote, it stopped working, or you are just too tired to get off the couch to get the remote that is not near you, the free Roku remote apps listed above can come in handy.
A soft remote can easily connect and disconnect to multiple Rokus. Connecting and disconnecting a hardware remote is a process every time. A free Roku remote app is often better than a paid one, and spending money on one does not guarantee the app will be ad-free.
My favorite third-party free Roku mobile app is Rokie. The official Roku app is available for the Apple smartwatch but not Android Wear, whereas Rokie is available for Android Wear but not Apple watchOS. I use the official Roku remote app just as much as Rokie, but especially for private listening.