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HBO Max Restores tvOS Player on Its Apple TV App Following Bug Fiasco

HBO Max app for Apple TV
(Image credit: WarnerMedia)

HBO Max has restored use of Apple’s tvOS video player on Apple TV devices following a June 2 update of the HBO Max app that introduced a proprietary player and left users dealing with myriad bugs. 

“We just released an update to our Apple TV app, restoring the native tvOS video playback experience you know and love, with more improvements to come,” HBO Max said in a tweet published Tuesday evening. “Ensuring HBO Max viewers have a quality experience is our top priority and we missed the mark here.”

Users of HBO Max on Apple’s connected TV platform complained that they couldn’t fast-forward and remind content. There were also gripes about a popup item for “next episode” that would’t leave the screen, as well as the inability to turn HDR functionality off when SD content was playing. Broken subtitles and Siri commands were also described in various Reddit posts. 

Earlier on Tuesday, HBO Max GM Andy Forssell tweeted, “Native player is on its way back, in short order. No excuses from us. Good intentions, bad execution. We’ll learn from it.”

In that same Twitter conversation, Forssell was also asked by Nilay Patel, editor in chief at The Verge, how the doomed “version 50.30.2.261” of the HBO Max app “made it out the door” with so many bugs in the first place. 

Forssell said described that as the “zillion dollar question,” while promising a “deep dive” to find the answer.