HBO Max customers pulling their hair out over slow and glitchy performance may finally find some relief.

Warner Bros. Discovery said Monday that HBO Max has completed the rollout of a new user experience — featuring a “more performant tech stack” and enhanced design and navigation features — across all platforms.

The company started the transition last September, before the closing of the Discovery acquisition of WarnerMedia earlier this year. Initially, the enhanced HBO Max apps came to Roku, PlayStation and other connected-TV devices, launching on Apple TV this spring.

Now, according to WBD, the upgraded experience is now on desktop, iOS and Android mobile devices, as well as Amazon Fire tablets. The replatformed app features “updated, intuitive navigation” as well as a “refined design and visual styling to let content shine,” according to WBD. HBO Max’s connected-TV apps use the cross-platform app engine created by You.i, which WarnerMedia acquired in December 2020; the versions for desktop and mobile were built from scratch on a different codebase.

In about a year, however, HBO Max users will be looking at another huge change. Warner Bros. Discovery said last week that it would integrate HBO Max and Discovery+ into a single streaming service — starting in the U.S. next summer. WBD streaming chief JP Perrette acknowledged that HBO Max has had “performance and customer issues”; he told analysts the combined HBO Max-Discovery+ would adopt the rich feature set of HBO Max with the streaming infrastructure that powers Discovery+.

“We are delighted to introduce the revamped HBO Max mobile and desktop apps,” Kamyar Keshmiri, SVP of product design for Warner Bros. Discovery Streaming, said in a statement. “The changes give our users more of the features they care most about, along with improved navigation and a more immersive canvas for storytelling, helping them click play on their favorite content faster and with less friction.”

Highlights of the new features available in the updated HBO Max mobile and desktop application, according to Warner Bros. Discovery:

  • Shuffle button functionality expansion to mobile devices. Previously only available on the desktop and CTV experiences, this feature gives users the ability to randomize the first episode that plays for select series on the platform.
  • A dedicated home for downloaded content with improved performance and stability
  • SharePlay support for iPhone and iPad users (U.S. only): Subscribers in the U.S. with an ad-free plan and an iPhone or iPad can now use SharePlay to watch their favorite HBO Max programs in sync with friends and family while on a FaceTime call.
  • Tablet support for both landscape and portrait orientations
  • An enhanced screen reader experience with improved navigation elements and functionality
  • The ability to split screens with other apps on any behavior-supported mobile device
  • Google Chromecast stability improvements

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