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HBO Max team working on new app experience

(Graphic by The Desk)

Developers at AT&T’s WarnerMedia are working on an updated version of the HBO Max streaming service that will fix common bugs and glitches associated with the app, according to a report.

Since it debuted last year, users of the HBO Max app on some platforms have been plagued by technical issues ranging from problems displaying subtitles to random crashes.

The issues appear to be the worst on Roku, the last major streaming television platform to get the HBO Max app, with users complaining on the regular that the app is prone to crashing in the middle of a show or movie.

Problems with the HBO Max app have become so common that AT&T employees say they’re regularly contacted by angry users on social media — but they promise a fix is in the works.

An updated version of the HBO Max app has been in development for some time, according to New York Magazine’s entertainment blog Vulture, citing unnamed sources who spoke with a reporter.

The revamped version of the HBO Max app will contain many of the same design elements as the current version, but the underlying technology that powers the service will leverage the best elements of  AT&T’s acquisition of the platform development company You.I TV, which is expected to resolve many of the issues subscribers are facing today.

“It will be wildly better than what’s out there — it will just work better across the board,” an unnamed executive promised.

Over time, additional features will be introduced to help users navigate and discover content, explained by the executive as a “sophisticated and cool and sexier” user interface.

Executives said many of the bugs associated with the current version of the HBO Max app cropped up when the service introduced a cheaper, ad-supported plan at $10 a month. That, along with an international rollout to more than three dozen countries, meant developers had to add more lines of code to the app, which resulted in technical problems.

No timetable was revealed as to when AT&T would roll out the updated version of the app.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).