Several Roku customers have opened support posts and Reddit threads asking why an app called “RUM” appeared on their home screen. This app is unremovable and doesn’t seem to do anything. Even weirder, Roku won’t explain what it is.
Update, 5/18/22: Roku tells us that it doesn’t have anything to share about RUM “beyond what was noted in the support post.” So, the mystery continues.
Here’s the good news; Roku already pushed an automatic update to remove RUM from your home screen. And if the automatic update hasn’t reached your device, you can force a manual update—this is the official fix relayed to customers by Roku’s support team.
“We believe that this issue is now resolved. We would recommend checking for a manual update on your Roku device to see if the issue is still occurring. For more information about how to check for a manual update, visit our Support page here: Update the software on your Roku.”
But Roku’s lack of clarity here is a bit frustrating. The company is still dealing with complaints in its support thread, but it hasn’t explained why RUM exists or how it appeared on customers’ home screens. Roku also removed all comments from a Reddit thread asking about RUM, and it hid a thread from a user who implied that RUM is the result of a hack (which almost certainly isn’t the case).
Now, I’m going to take an educated guess about RUM, so bear with me. The RUM icon is actually titled “Roku Microsite,” so it’s probably a script or application that fetches data from a webpage or server location. It could assist in the automatic update process, for example, by regularly checking if new updates are available. RUM is probably a background task that ended up on the home screen because of a bug.
And in case you’re wondering, a “microsite” is just a webpage that’s separated from a company’s primary website. One flashy example is Roku’s advertising microsite, which was developed by Lynton to make Roku’s ad platform more attractive. (But not all microsites are flashy. Many are bare-bones and hidden from the public.)
We reached out to Roku in hopes that the company would explain this situation. The company tells us that it has nothing to share beyond what was mentioned in its support post.