Streaming

HBO Max Will Soon Introduce a Total App Overhaul on Apple TV, Roku, and PlayStation

By Bill Toulas / August 16, 2021

The HBO Max app has been recently reported to be plagued by several glitches, both minor and major, with the issues culminating on the Apple TV platform where users appeared unable to even pause, fast-forward, or rewind the playback of media. Although the temporary solution of reverting to the old media player engine fixed the issues for most, HBO Max has to do a lot more to justify the tag of a ‘premium’ choice in the streaming market, and that’s exactly what its executives are promising now.

As a spokesperson of Warner Media, the owner of the HBO Max brand told Vulture the most problematic apps would be overhauled first, and this concerns users of Apple TV, PlayStation, and Roku devices. Mobile and web viewers will get the new interface and functionality in early 2022, so they will have to wait for a little while longer.

HBO’s executives are well aware of the issues that have recently degraded the user experience for large parts of their userbase, and they have been scrambling with the development team to get the fixes out as soon as possible. Most of the flaws crept in when the ad-supported tier was introduced and also a few weeks later with the expansion to new territories. In both cases, new features were added to the apps to extend their functionality, and unfortunately, the new code also carried some bugs.

The big problem for the existing HBO Max app is that it wasn’t built from scratch as it should have, but instead was a modified version of the deprecated HBO GO and HBO Now services. This approach was wrong and caused a huge headache for the engineers, and HBO Max now handles a lot more traffic, has a much larger content collection, and is serving content to a substantially large audience from around the globe. As such, it has been hanging by a thin thread since day one.

This was a gamble that WarnerMedia had to take in order not to waste time and lose potential subscribers to the competition, as time is of great essence in the streaming market right now. That said, the plan was to retrofit the existing apps and do whatever is possible for stability until brand new HBO Max apps are ready to roll out. If you’re a subscriber to the platform and you love the content but hate the app, this is a message to hang on.



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