Monday, May 16, 2022

HBO Max’s Apple TV app gets a much-needed overhaul

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HBO Max keeps its promises to overhaul its disappointing smart TV apps. Both Variety and The edge suppose WarnerMedia updated a . rolls out Apple TV app that addresses some of the most glaring problems that remained. First, it’s finally built on a modern platform that should be more reliable than the relatively old HBO Go/Now framework. You’ll also see a new home page with a scrollable “hero” banner, the option to skip credits, more control over My Stuff watchlists, and easier login.

The new version should reach your Apple TV device this week or next week. You’ll already find the framework in many of HBO Max’s other apps, including for Android, PlayStation, Roku players, and TV sets from LG, Samsung, and Vizio. Similar innovations are coming for Amazon Fire TV devices and the web.

The flawed Apple TV client was the result of WarnerMedia’s desire to rush the launch of HBO Max. Rather than build its smart TV apps from scratch, the media company has repurposed its HBO Go and HBO Now apps to cut development time. The company knew it would have to “replatform” the app to modernize it and accommodate both international expansion and more content, according to WarnerMedia executive VP Sarah Lyons.

That rushed approach may not have helped HBO Max’s initial growth. Just look estimated that the service had 7 percent of the world’s streaming market share in February, compared to 17.6 percent for Disney+. While we wouldn’t count on strong demand for the new apps, they may just help HBO retain subscribers who would otherwise be frustrated enough to leave.

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