HBO Max’s Smart TV apps were less than reliable to say the least, but WarnerMedia seems poised to make a difference. WarnerMedia anonymous executive speaking To Vulture claims the HBO Max team will replace all of its Smart TV apps with new versions within “the next four or five months.” Roku and PlayStation owners will receive updated apps first, and Apple TV users by the end of 2021. Mobile and web viewers will have to wait until early 2022.
Existing applications suffer from a number of serious flaws, from broken playback controls to forgotten settings and slowness. Roku users faced more issues than most with freezes and crashes that sometimes rendered the HBO Max app unusable.
The issues reportedly stem from WarnerMedia’s attempt to launch HBO Max in May. While many competitors have built their streaming apps from scratch, the current HBO Max app is a redesigned version of the software designed for HBO Go and HBO Now. It was built to meet high demand, but it was not designed to cope with a growing global audience broadcasting much more than Game of Thrones…
The HBO Max app update is expected to provide both a modern foundation and, importantly, room for growth. The unnamed executive said the new app won’t be much different at first, but should include more “complex” interface updates, as well as new and updated features.
To be precise, this could be important for the long-term future of HBO Max. The TV streaming space is increasingly filled with competitors like Paramount + and Peacock, which are joining mainstream operators like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. You can easily lose interest in HBO Max if buggy apps spoil the experience, no matter how engaging the content might be – and this will be especially important when WarnerMedia stops releasing new films on the service.
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