Download function is broken and has been for months.
I love HBO’s content, and I was very excited when it was announced that the app would allow downloads for offline viewing. However, I was very disappointed to discover that while you can download videos, if you try to watch them in airplane mode (say when, I don’t know, flying on an airplane), the app will let you watch for a while then suddenly freak out and become trapped in an endless loop of error messages as it repeatedly tries and fails to contact the server. This problem has been present for months and it appears no effort has been made to fix it.
Additionally, the app does not keep accurate track of how many videos you currently have downloaded. There is a global limit for the account of 30 downloaded videos, and if you want to download beyond that you are prompted to delete unwanted videos to stay below the limit. However, when you delete a few videos, the app continues to give you the same error message saying you can’t download more than 30 videos, and does not permit you to download.
The content on HBO is really great, but I primarily only have time to consume it on flights. It is frustrating beyond belief that this app gets so close to the desired feature a d then totally falls flat on its face in the execution.
HBO Max: Have I become YOUR product?
When I checked under “App Privacy” in this app, it was immediately concerning to me to see that HBO is tracking me extensively on my iPhone across apps and websites and in a variety of ways: my location, my search history, my usage data, my contact information, my identifiers, and my “other data.“ (Sounds ominous, doesn’t it?) Why is this necessary, HBO? I am paying you each month, so it doesn’t seem as though you need to monetize me like this. Is that what you are doing? It says, “Data Used to Track You: The following data may be used to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies.“ If HBO Max were a freebie, I guess I could understand this *to a degree* – but HBO Max bills self as a premium channel, and it is by no means free! It sounds to me like HBO Max needs to do better by its customers’ privacy rights. While I normally would’ve given HBO Max five stars— it truly is a wonderful premium service that I enjoy very much! — I’m giving it one star until this is convincingly explained to me. Oh, and I’m also deleting HBO Max from my iPhone; since I feel it necessary to do that, HBO Max just became a whole lot less valuable to me, and I may also have to reconsider my entire relationship with the company moving forward.
Content Good - App Bad
By S.C. Watts
I’ve only had the app for a couple of weeks but already it’s got major issues compared to other streaming apps that I am not sure how they aren’t fixing...
When connecting to watch on my TV via Chromecast it will just stop a few episodes (or sometimes halfway into the very first episode I watch) and look like it’s “buffering” but really it’s just a connection issue, or something along those lines and it will never actually resume. The only way to continue watching is to disconnect, restart the app and reconnect which is ridiculous.
Other issues include some of the user interface irritabilities others have pointed out like the “continue watching” section giving you no options to go to the show details, episode selection, etc. and the fact that you can skip the ads and intros when watching in the app on your device, but not when casting from your device.
All of these issues make for a very clunky, unprofessional and honestly overpriced viewing experience. I’m really just binge-watching all the shows I got the subscription for so I can cancel after one month, and resubscribe in the future once they learn how to build a proper streaming app.
Great idea but poor execution
I love the idea of HBO streaming service. Since I’m a Direct TV customer I was even more excited because it’s included for no extra charge. However, I’m very disappointed to find that not only is there a maximum download limit for the entire household of 30 downloads and worst of all it seems like every time you leave the app screen it pauses your downloads. Perhaps it’s just me but even when I leave the app open in the background while I text or check email I go back to the app screen to find everything was paused while I multitasked. The 30 downloads per household maximum, if you are using all 5 profiles, really limits your ability to download much depending on what the other users download for themselves and frankly if the app can’t/won’t download your selections if you leave it open in the background so you can multitask it will take so long for people like myself to download our selections it becomes counterproductive and makes it far quicker and more efficient to simply buy the series you’re interested. I sincerely hope the app improves as time goes on, as I recognize that it is new, because I love the idea but hate the poor execution.
One of the Worst Streaming Apps Ever
You would think that a multi-billion dollar company with probably the most expensive streaming service around could make a decent app but apparently not. It has auto play but it only works half the time and you have to listen to the entire credits track unlike on other streaming services where they give you the option to play the next episode once the actual content of an episode ends. It’s casting capability is terrible, a lot of the time when you try to cast you just get a plain black screen on your TV. Other times it’ll cast but every time you leave and then open the app it has disconnected itself from the casting capability while the show is still playing so you can watch it but you can’t control it at all. It does this every single time. It also likes to say you’re offline when you’re clearly not, it mostly does this when I try to access my settings or account information. Overall it’s a terrible app, with a mediocre service, and it certainly doesn’t have enough content or functionally to be worth the price. 0/10 would not recommend.
Functionality not quite there
The app seems to work for the most part, but I don’t like a few things: it seems weird that when I click on something in the continue watching section, there is no way for me to pick another episode from there. It seemed I had to go to the search option to find the show and THEN I could pick the episode I wanted, rather than where I left off (I often fall asleep while it’s on auto play and have to go back.) Also, it keeps giving me the cellular warning over and over, even tho I’ve turned that fiction off in the settings. One time it changed my setting for streaming with cellular data, and wouldn’t play at all until I switched the setting back. So weird.
One more comment, why does the iPhone app allow you to jump ahead 15 seconds but the browser version on my computer does not?
All in all the app is okay, and I like the extra content as compared to HBO now. But why the separate version of HBO? Just come out with one for goodness sake!
Broken downloads feature
For the most part, this is a decent app. The content is great, of course. Download management is poorly designed. Currently you must click edit, then scroll through your list, X out the download you don’t want, then scroll back up and click Done. It’s a lot of real estate to go through. Secondly, downloads don’t play on their own off of the phone unless the phone is taken off network. So if I have a slow or poor internet connection, shows don’t play immediately or at all, and I suspect that they’re eating data instead of playing off of my phone. Downloads only play well in these circumstances if I set the phone to Airplane mode. Finally, the Renew option doesn’t work. If I click on the exclamation point to renew, I get a dialog to Renew or Cancel. Click on Renew and nothing happens; no shows or movies renew. I can only get them back if I delete and redownload them. Like I said, it’s a decent app, but this part proves to be a frustrating experience.
What’s up with the console versions
I love HBO max use it every day I usually fall asleep watching impractical jokers nightly only problem with that is the console version runs so bad more often than not when I’m watching on my ps5 it just randomly stops playing and when I rewind to try and let it buffer a little the bar goes out of whack and starts from the beginning with the bar showing it’s halfway through the show usually I have to reboot the app and that same problem still occurs after only barely watching 1 episode when it comes to my PlayStation I bought to media remote to quickly switch to other apps or games with it but the fact that if I wanna watch anything without issues I have to get my other remote for my tv and go on HBO max on theor that is very inconvenient for me considering I have it on my play station and I use it for everything this has to be fixed asap but I don’t see any effort being put in come on guys
What you had before wasn’t good but it was much better than what you guys did with this new update here we go!
Home Screen intro is horrible taking up 80% of the screen displaying content most people do not like or are already watching. Why not make a banner consisting of 25% of the screen with new content did I say new I mean NEW brand NEW. Not Euphoria for Gods sake Euphoria with the girl crying over and over and over again! Show different content from the show not the same face again and again and again makes one hate that show without even watching it. Please be smart don’t fill the whole screen with a 80% poster. You are not convincing people to watch what you want them to watch they are smarter than that.
How about categories like 70s, 80s, 90s, blockbusters, Globe Awards, Indies things like that! FOR YOU omg that is so annoying bunch of shows that I would never watch at all let alone select them for MY LIST. Speaking of My List put that first under the 25% New show Banner that’s better. My goodness who do you have working there?? Oh people who don’t use HBO Max app that’s who.....Enough Rant geeez.
Parental Control (and Pin) broken
Content on HBO Max is great. The problem I have with it is how the parental controls are set up. It is backwards of how it should be. You should have to enter a parental control pin to access adult content (if that’s what you choose) but instead you enter a pin to exit a kids profile. I set up profiles for me, my wife, and my three kids. If my wife or I are watching something on our profile and exit without changing it to one of the kid’s profiles, the kids have full access to the adult profile when they launch HBO Max. Defeats the whole purpose of having restricted content profiles. The other thing that doesn’t make sense is the parental control pin. When you change profiles and are prompted to enter the pin, it shows the pin as you enter it and displays the whole pin before you hit enter. So if your kids are in the room and you’re doing this on your tv, they can see the pin. If HBO Max had parental controls and pin the same as Netflix (or Prime even), would be 5 stars. Hopefully the developers can fix this.