HBO Max new app Apple TV

Update: Integration with the Apple TV “Up Next” queue appears to be supported but is not working for many users right now. Hopefully, this is a server-side bug that the company is working to address.

As expected, HBO Max has officially rebranded to just “Max,” following Warner Bros. Discovery’s announcement last month. The service ditches the iconic HBO name and pulls in content from HBO Max and Discovery+, creating a unified “Max” app that replaces the previous standalone apps.

That “Max” app, however, is already facing criticism from many users – especially Apple TV users.

As outlined by friend-of-the-site Sigmund Judge on Twitter, the new Max app for Apple TV switches away from Apple’s native video player. Instead, the app uses a custom video player that’s inconsistent with the rest of the Apple TV experience.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because the same exact thing happened with the HBO Max app back in 2021. The HBO Max app for Apple TV was updated to use a custom video player, replacing the native tvOS video player. After blowback from customers, HBO reverted this decision and rolled back to the native tvOS video player.

History, however, repeats itself with the launch of Max this week. The new Max app uses a wholly custom video player that lacks support for a number of native Apple TV and tvOS features. As Sigmund highlights on Twitter, this includes the Siri Remote’s “jog wheel” functionality for jumping forwards and backwards in a video.

Here are just a few of the other missing features in the new Max app for Apple TV:

  • “What did he/she/they say?”
  • Picture In Picture
  • System wide audio/ subtitle preferences
  • Reduce Loud Sounds
  • Dim Flashing Lights
  • Up Next

On Reddit, users say that HDR and Dolby Vision are completely broken in the version of the Max app that was released today. Support for matching content frame rate is also missing.

The lack of TV app integration for Apple’s “Up Next” system-wide queuing feature is incredibly disappointing. This is something that the previous HBO Max app did support, so it’s yet another major regression in this new Max app.

Max also isn’t available via Apple TV Channels, a feature in Apple’s TV app that allows you to subscribe to streaming services directly in the TV app. This comes with several benefits, such as billing through Apple and the ability to easily drop and add subscriptions. HBO Max dropped support for Apple TV Channels back in 2021.

As of right now, Warner Bros. Discovery hasn’t commented on the issues plaguing the Max launch for Apple TV users.

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