HBO Max gets its native Apple TV video player back

Best Apple TV of 2021
Best Apple TV of 2021 (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • HBO Max has rolled a new update out to its Apple TV app, fixing a problem that prevented people from paying and seeking video.
  • The issue arose because HBO Max used a custom video player.

HBO Max has released an updated version of its Apple TV app that brings back the native tvOS 14 video player. A previous version used a custom video player that prevented users with the Siri Remote from being able to pause video, among other things.

Those other things were pretty important, actually. fast-forwarding and rewinding video are just two of the vital interactions that simply didn't work.

The new update does away with the custom HBO Max video player, bringing back the standard video player that works just fine. It isn't clear why HBO Max decided to change things in the first place or why its custom interface wouldn't work with the remote –– a vital part of the Apple TV 4K experience, to say the least.

The issue had been ongoing for a few days and it was so bad HBO executive Andy Foressell had to apologize. promising a fix was on the way.

Now it's here, we can all go back to watching content and browsing the best Apple TV 4K deals. The hot new Apple TV has been on sale for a week or two now and has proven popular, not least because of a Siri Remote redesign that makes it much more usable than the old one. You can buy that remote separately of course, but anyone using an old Apple TV HD should probably just bite the bullet and upgrade the whole shebang instead.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.