LOS GATOS, California — In a turn of events that elicited surprise from many Roku users, Roku has banned any and all browser apps from all Roku devices. This comes soon after the release of the first browser app to be allowed on the Roku store, Web Browser X, which was quickly followed up by several others.
Users’ excitement at the prospect of being able to browse the web on their Roku devices turned to dismay with this new development.
Roku device owners have expressed their desire for an official web browser on Reddit threads and forums, but Roku has yet to confirm that they plan to develop one. The third-party web browser channels that were released on most Roku devices were considered by many to be good alternatives, but Roku decided to ban these applications once again.
The developers of such third-party apps have said that prohibiting web browsers from being distributed on their platform has been Roku’s policy since the beginning.
With the arrival of several web browsers on the Roku store, many people had considered this policy disregarded. This was soon proven wrong by the recent removals.
In a statement made to several news sites, Roku confirmed that the policy of not allowing browsers on Roku smart TVs and players will be upheld. In addition to this, Roku also provided a copy of the rules they give to developers that intend to distribute on the platform.
A relevant clause mentions that included among the content and applications not permitted to be put up for download are web browsers, alongside such things as applications within channels or having cross functionality with other Roku channels, as well as external content offerings.
In light of this, it would seem that at this time, Roku does not intend to add a web browsing functionality to Roku devices, whether third-party or official.