Quick Look: Browser proves once again that web browsing is not a viable activity on a Roku device. This channel offers nothing more than the Web app (released in November 2015 by the same developer), other than the ability to enter a URL instead of being limited to a preset list of websites. Browser renders a web page as a static graphic image. You can scroll through the page using the forward and reverse buttons on your remote, but there is no other ability to interact. Links do not function, videos do not play, and so on. Pages are also very slow to load, perhaps due to background rendering into an image that must then be downloaded.
The Browser app is interesting as an experiment, but it gets much less interesting when you have to shell out $5 per month to use it. While there may be a limited usefulness if you only want to browse content - for example, to see the latest headlines on a news site, or to check weather conditions, these activities require you to type in long URLs, which is very laborious using the Roku remote. Even if you are willing to go to that trouble, there is no way to save your entries, so you are required to re-enter each URL every time you leave and then return to the app.
In addition to the ability to enter URLs, there are a number of preloaded URLs, such as Huffington Post, The New York Times, and Business Insider. For the most part, the preloaded URLs are for the websites' home pages.
The screenshots at the end of this article illustrate what this app delivers from CNN and our own website. As you can see, some web pages are too wide to fully display within the app.
-- Information is current as of June 17, 2016
Developer's Channel Description: Visit any website. Enter any url or browse from favorites including News, Weather, Sports, Entertainment and more
CHANNEL STORE CATEGORY: Apps
DEVELOPER: Share Media LLC
FEES: Monthly Subscription Rate of $4.99
RELATED LINKS: None