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HBO Max Releases Much Anticipated Updated App on Roku

Michael King

Viewers who have been unhappy with the performance of the HBO Max app in recent months may find they have some good news to celebrate. A new version of the app (v.50.45) was released on Roku, PS4, and PS5 that has apparently fixed many of the issues reported by users.

Many subscribers have posted about issues they have discovered on social media, based on their experiences on multiple platforms. Those complaints have not gone unheard, as HBO had promised a fix for those issues before the end of 2021.

While the app itself doesn’t look very different, and the navigation is mostly the same, the moment you open it, you will know “you’re not in Kansas anymore.” The new version of the app has been rebuilt from the ground up.

Some of the new features showing up for viewers include:

  • Faster overall speed - the app is much snappier than it was before.
  • Better stability - loading app and playback has fewer issues than the previous app.
  • Snappier search - the search function seems to return results quicker than before.
  • ‘My List’ is now found under profile - viewers’ personal lists can be found and managed under their profile.
  • Custom profile icons - your custom profile avatar is now available on Roku.
  • UI changes - Enhanced buttons, larger tiles, and modified layouts. In addition, there is a new “loading” animation that spins around the lower portion of the screen.

Last year, the company acquired You.I TV, which has been the foundation of the new app. Following Roku and soon PlayStation, it is expected that Apple TV app should be ready at the end of 2021. In 2022, the company plans to do a major mobile and web-based app update.

These new features and others will improve upon the bugs previously reported by HBO Max users, including issues with the fast forward and rewind functions on some platforms. On other platforms, issues had been reported with the app not saving subtitles and closed caption settings. Some Roku viewers reported issues that included crashes and freezing while using the HBO Max app.

In an August interview with Vulture, a WarnerMedia executive revealed plans to create a new app for the streaming service, saying, “We’re going to replace every single connected TV app in the next four or five months.”

The WarnerMedia exec said that the current app is a revamped version of their prior HBO Go and HBO Now apps, which were not properly equipped to handle the streaming service. When the streaming service introduced its ad-supported tier in June, additional problems surfaced because of the necessary coding for the new structure. The app also became available in 39 countries, requiring subtitles for non-English speaking users, which was a huge task.


HBO Max is a subscription video streaming service that gives access to the full HBO library, along with exclusive Max Originals, and access to every Warner Bros. film on HBO Max on the same day that it hits theaters.

HBO Max has two tiers, an ad-supported plan for $9.99 and ad-free plan for $14.99. HBO Max without ads also includes features like the ability to download offline and 4K streaming.

Subscribers will have access to hit HBO series like Succession, Mare of Easttown, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and more.

All HBO Max subscribers will get the full libraries of shows like “Friends”, “The Big Bang Theory”, “South Park”, “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”, “The West Wing”, and more.

They also will get Max Originals that aren’t available to HBO channel subscribers, like “The Flight Attendant” (Kaley Cuoco), “Love Life” (Anna Kendrick), as well as reboots to “Sex In The City” and “Gossip Girl.”

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