Despite the news that the HBO Max app is getting shut down in the summer of 2023, that does not appear to be stopping it from releasing new features.
Today, the company announced that it has rolled out an update for the app on iPhone, iPad, Android, and desktop that will bring "highly requested new features from HBO Max fans and marks the conclusion of moving all HBO Max apps to a new, more performant tech stack."
The big update for Apple users is the introduction of SharePlay for the iPhone and iPad. Now, you'll be able to enjoy HBO Max content in sync with friends over FaceTime. The full list of updates to the app is below:
- Shuffle button functionality expansion to mobile devices. Previously only available on the desktop and CTV experiences, this feature gives users the ability to randomize the first episode that plays for select series on the platform.
- SharePlay support for iPhone and iPad users (U.S. only): Subscribers in the U.S. with an ad-free plan and an iPhone or iPad can now use SharePlay to watch their favorite HBO Max programs in sync with friends and family while on a FaceTime call.
- A dedicated home for downloaded content with improved performance and stability
- Tablet support for both landscape and portrait orientations
- An enhanced screen reader experience with improved navigation elements and functionality
- The ability to split screens with other apps on any behavior-supported mobile device
- Updated, intuitive navigation
- A refined design and visual styling to let content shine
- Chromecast stability improvements
What's the point?
While it is great to see HBO Max launch all of these features, it's hard not to wonder what the point is.
Warner Bros Discovery has already announced that they are planning to shut the app down in the summer of 2023. The parent company says that it plans to merge Discovery+ and HBO Max into each other and launch a brand new super-app that has yet to be named.
While we're waiting to understand the eventual fate of HBO Max, I guess we can at least discuss that with our friends while FaceTiming some HBO Max content!
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Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.