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HBO Max is rolling out an updated Apple TV app and it apparently works this time

HBO Max Review 2020
HBO Max Review 2020 (Image credit: Bryan M. Wolfe/iMore)

What you need to know

  • HBO Max has a new Apple TV app coming within days.
  • Early tests show that the new Apple TV app works well.
  • The previous HBO Max Apple TV app was a disaster.

HBO Max users have been crying out for an Apple TV app that works and it looks like they're finally going to get one. An updated Apple TV app is rolling out over the coming days, and by all accounts, this one will actually work.

The problems that users have had with the HBO Max app have been well documented and we heard last year that it was going to get a complete rewrite in an attempt to fix the many, many streaming problems it had on Apple TV hardware. Now, our friends at Tom's Guide have been able to take the updated app for a spin — and it's all good news.

At the top of the list of improvements is the fact that it actually lets you stream content, something that you couldn't take for granted with the old app. That old app was based on the previous HBO Go app that it replaces. Not anymore, this new app is exactly that — new.

The Tom's Guide report was based on a few days of using the updated HBO Go app and initial impressions have been very good indeed.

The best thing I can say about the new HBO Max app is that I haven't seen the "Oops, something went wrong!" error — which often happened when opening the app after it being in the background — once since I've been testing it. That's been one of my biggest beefs with the app since it arrived, and to not encounter it in the weeks that I've had the app? That's a huge upgrade.

Speed has improved, too. Loading content and navigating around the app is said to be on a par with the likes of Netflix, which sounds promising. There's a new interface as well, seemingly designed to make it easier to binge content when you're so inclined.

Other improvements to note are that the app is more binge-friendly. This isn't something I found problematic before, but as I tested out with Our Flag Means Death, [Sarah Lyons, head of the HBO Max product experience] was right when she said "we fixed the binge-mode so you can more easily go from show to show," as I saw a nearly seamless transition, with a neat little countdown timer in the bottom corner.

All of that should be music to the ears of people who have suffered through the original HBO Max app on their Apple TV. We're told that the new update is coming over the next few days, so keep your eyes peeled. Who knows, maybe HBO Max will go from being a dumpster fire to arguably being one of the best Apple TV apps in the App Store. Fingers crossed!

Oliver Haslam
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.

2 Comments
  • If they add HBO Max as an Apple TV channel, like Paramount or Showtime, then I’ll sign up. Otherwise, I’ll pass.
  • We’ll see how well it works. Their first try at his last year was terrible. Also, the banner shot is of an iPad? The TVOS app is the one being updated…