HBO Max has been under fire for years for its buggy app. Today is the streaming service re-platformed app completed global rollout on desktop, iOS, Android and Amazon Fire tablets. New features include a shuffle button on mobile, SharePlay support for iPhone and iPad users in the US, a dedicated home for downloaded content, and more.
With the shuffle button now on mobile devices, in addition to desktop and connected TV apps, users can arbitrarily decide which episode to play for certain series on the streaming service. US subscribers with a no-ads subscription can use SharePlay on their iPhone or iPad to watch HBO Max content in sync with friends or family while using FaceTime.
Other updates include:
- A special place for downloaded content
- Tablet support for both landscape and portrait orientations
- Stability improvements for Chromecast
- An updated screen reader experience with better navigation elements and functionality
- The ability to split screens with other apps on devices that allow it
The company also said it has upgraded the navigation and given users a “sophisticated design and visual styling to make the content shine”.
“The changes give our users more of the features they care about most, along with improved navigation and a more immersive storytelling canvas, allowing them to click play on their favorite content faster and with less friction,” Kamyar Keshmiri, SVP, Product Design, Warner Bros. Discovery Streaming, said in an official statement.
The revamped mobile and desktop apps mean the company is done updating apps across all platforms.
The changes began last fall when the company replaced connected TV apps with a new, “higher-performance tech stack.” In April, HBO Max launched an updated app for Apple TV users that aimed to give the app stability and improved performance. Roku, PlayStation, Android, Samsung, LG, Vizio and more smart TV apps are also using the new tech stack.
With a loss of 300,000 domestic subscribers in the second quarter, the company has a lot of work to do. Especially since the new streaming service is coming next year, merging Discovery+ and HBO Max content. So while the new HBO Max app will be gone by 2023, it could help the company create a better successor app and improved experience for its combined subscribers.
Also, the new app comes just in time for the “Game of Thrones” prequel, “The House of the Dragon,” which premieres on August 21.