HBO Max Is Rolling Out an Updated Apple TV App That Promises Better Stability, New Features


Frustrated HBO Max customers who use Apple TV devices to access the streaming service should be getting a welcome upgrade.

Amid user complaints about the app’s performance and stability woes, WarnerMedia is deploying a new version of the HBO Max app for Apple TV and Apple TV 4K boxes, which will roll out slowly through this week and into next, according to the company.

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Visually, the new tvOS app is not all that different from the previous iteration of HBO Max on the platform. But WarnerMedia promises that the app, rebuilt on its next-generation platform, is more stable than the prior version. In addition, it adds a number of enhancements, such as easier sign-in and sign-up; the ability to skip credits (aka “binge mode”); and a new homepage view with a scrollable “hero” banner.

In addition, the upgraded HBO Max for Apple TV provides more user-curation capabilities with a full “My Stuff” experience that allows users to edit and sort their My List and Continue Watching lists. Eventually, the new HBO Max app for Apple TV will be able to take advantage the devices’ processing horsepower to provide more dynamic interface animations — “cooler, whiz-bang stuff,” said Sarah Lyons, WarnerMedia’s EVP, direct-to-consumer global product management.

According to Lyons, more than two years ago, when WarnerMedia was gearing up to launch HBO Max, “we made a deliberate decision to use the [existing] HBO Go and HBO Now apps.”

By using that code base, which was originally developed by BAMTech (now part of Disney Streaming Services), WarnerMedia was able to speed up HBO Max’s time-to-market rollout. “But we knew that original platform was not designed for a big content catalog or international distribution,” Lyons said. “We knew we would have to replatform it later.”

In the midst of the HBO Max replatforming project, WarnerMedia is nearing the finish line in the process of spinning off from AT&T and merging with Discovery.

Word came this week that HBO Max GM Andy Forrsell and WarnerMedia CTO Richard Tom, among other execs, are not coming over to the new Warner Bros. Discovery. Under WBD CEO David Zaslav’s leadership structure, JB…

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