HBO Max will release a completely rebuilt Apple TV app by the end of the year to overcome a variety of issues users have experienced with the current version, according to a new report.
Shortly after Warnermedia removed its HBO Max offering from Apple TV Channels in May, an update to its subsequently released tvOS app essentially broke several features of the service.
In June, HBO Max dropped the native tvOS video player in favor of a custom video player, which introduced issues with fast-forwarding and rewinding video in the app.
Recognizing its mistake, HBO quickly reinstated the native tvOS video player UI. However, problems with playback control remained, while users have continued to report other issues to do with subtitles and audio description.
According to HBO Max execs who spoke to Vulture, these remaining errors should be corrected for all Apple TV users “within days,” while subscribers can expect the rollout of a completely new app to match the needs of the current service.
“We’re going to replace every single connected TV app in the next four or five months,” said an unnamed WarnerMedia exec. Apple TV customers will likely have to wait until the end of the year for the new app to appear, and an overhaul of the mobile and web-based apps is planned for early 2022.
According to the report, the problems started when the company launched a new $10 ad-supported tier and expanded its app to 39 new countries in June. Integrating commercials into what had been an ad-free platform required the introduction of a whole new layer of app coding, and that’s when the widely reported bugs were established.
WarnerMedia has also admitted that the current HBO Max app wasn’t built from scratch, and has been running on a retrofitted version of the old HBO Go and HBO Now services, which were designed for a very different product. Hence the decision to start afresh with a completely new app, which has been in the works since at least late last year.