HBO Max TV app in line for a major revamp this year – but there's a catch

HBO Max smart TV app
(Image credit: WarnerMedia)

HBO Max's smart TV app has suffered a string of technical glitches recently, but the good news is that HBO Max owner WarnerMedia is said to be plotting a complete revamp. 

“We’re going to replace every single connected TV app in the next four or five months,” a WarnerMedia insider told Vulture. “We see the crash logs... We’re not blind to it.”

Sadly, it sounds like some customers could be waiting almost a year for the upgrade. Roku users are expected to be first in line to get the new HBO Max app along with PlayStation customers. Apple TV customers will likely have to wait until the end of this year, while the new streaming service's mobile and web-based apps aren't due out until "early 2022".

On the upside, the unnamed WarnerMedia executive is reported to have said that the apps will offer "more noticeably new features" as well as a more "sophisticated and cool and sexier” interface. 

If you're an HBO Max subscriber you'll be well aware that the HBO MAX app has been beset by bugs. Playback controls seem to be a particular issue, causing one Twitter user to joke that his TV "started smoking and shaking" whenever he attempted to rewind. The jibe has now generated over 11,000 retweets.

The small-but-annoying technical problems are said to be a result of HBO Max borrowing bits from the HBO Go and HBO Now apps – rather than building HBO Max from scratch – to meet a tight launch schedule.

HBO Max app debuted in May 2020, superseding the previous HBO Now service. It quickly accumulated a direct-to-consumer audience over over 12 million in the US. Subscription costs from $9.99 a month and includes 13,000 hours of content from HBO and Warner Bros., in addition to a library of 4K HDR movies including hits such as The Suicide Squad.

Of course, there's always the danger that HBO will rush out a new HBO Max app, leading to a new wave of bugs. Thankfully, the exec sounds confident that won't happen: “It will be wildly better than what’s out there,” he said. “It will just work better across the board.”

HBO Max is currently a US-only streaming service but it is possible to watch HBO Max from abroad if you're a US customer away from home.


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Tom is a journalist, copywriter and content designer based in the UK. He has written articles for T3, ShortList, The Sun, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph, Elle Deco, The Sunday Times, Men's Health, Mr Porter, Oracle and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include mobile technology, electric vehicles and video streaming.

  • cozxta
    What Hi-Fi? said:
    The new bug should fix the bugs but it sounds like some customers will have to wait much longer than others. Here's what you need to know about the new HBO Max app...

    HBO Max app in line for a major revamp this year – but there's a catch : Read more

    The article says that HBO Max is currently a US-only streaming service but actually it is also available through almost all North, Central and South America, HBO Max has plenty of commercial partners here in Brazil, it's included on my carrier phone plan, it is yet to arrive in some European and Asian markets.