HBO Max’s overhauled Apple TV app is coming near the end of 2021

HBO Max’s Apple TV app leaves a lot to be desired, but WarnerMedia is keen on changing this by providing modern underpinnings that will power visual changes and future new features.


  • HBO Max says it’ll soon replace its smart TV apps
  • Mobile and desktop users will get theirs in 2022
  • HBO Max on Apple TV is buggy and breaks existing features 

White HBO Max lettering set against a colorful background

HBO Max to overhaul its awful smart TV apps

The arrival of the official HBO Max app for Apple TV was met with strong resistance from users because it lacked many common platform features, like standardized video navigation and more while broking others that previously worked perfectly. Feeling the irk of its Apple TV users, the company is promising to replace all of its apps for smart TVs with new versions.

The overhauled apps will first hit the Roku media streamer and Sony’s PlayStation console before launching on Apple TV before the end of 2021. Meanwhile, redesigned HBO Max apps for iPhone and iPad will have to wait until early 2022, the same as an overhauled HBO Max web interface for desktop users.

Updated code will reportedly provide modern underpinnings to power new features in the future whilst making possible what’s being described as a major visual overhaul of the software. An unnamed HBO executive reportedly told Vulture that WarnerMedia will replace every single connected TV app in the next four or five months.

The upgraded Max app has been in the works for a while now, since at least late last year, which is when WarnerMedia acquired a company called You.i TV with an eye on revamping the guts of its app. While the new offering won’t look dramatically different for most users at first, “It will be wildly better than what’s out there,” the exec says. “It will just work better across the board.”

So no more bugs, eh?

Of course, the relaunch may result in a few new bugs popping up in the short term — that’s common for any new product launch — but the exec says users will quickly see a much more stable experience. Eventually, once the basic mechanics of the app are fixed, the exec says the plan is to begin introducing more noticeable new features and evolutions, changes that will make for a more “sophisticated and cool and sexier” interface.

Let’s wait and see what happens.

Self-inflicted pain

We’re hoping WarnerMedia will instruct its developers to use official APIs from Apple because the current state of affairs is a direct result of the decision to implement a custom video player.

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The article states that the current HBO Max app wasn’t built from scratch. Rather, it’s been running on a retrofitted version of the old HBO Go and HBO Now services. Though problems with subtitles, closed captioning and audio description are now resolved, issues with rewinding, playback control and scrubbing still persist int he HBO Max app for Apple TV.

In May 2021, HBO Max pulled its subscription service from Apple TV channels.