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HBO Max Rebrand Breaks TVs, Remotes, and More

Was this all really necessary?

The Max app by HBO open on a smart tv
Hannah Stryker / Review Geek

As many of you probably know, HBO Max rebranded itself to Max this week. And while the name is mostly unimportant, the rebrand and new app are causing all sorts of problems for users. The switch broke stuff on TVs, killed the HBO Max button on remotes, and things aren’t going well.

For starters, the service crashed several times on launch day (May 23rd). Customers trying to sign up or login were met with nothing but trouble. And while that was somewhat expected, we’re still seeing complaints regarding stability.

Perhaps an even bigger problem is that the HBO Max shortcut button on many Smart TV and Android streaming devices no longer works. Yes, that Onn Android TV or Roku TV remote with a button to launch HBO Max without fumbling through the settings menu has broken.

Hisense Roku remote with HBO button

Several Android TV users on Reddit have confirmed the HBO Max shortcut no longer works. And while that sounds a bit silly, it’s a handy feature many people use daily. It’s now a dead button on remotes, although I have a feeling manufacturers of these devices can release a quick update and fix it.

It’s worth noting that if your Android TV remote no longer works with Max, there are button mapper apps that could fix it. The app can reprogram hardware buttons and direct the HBO Max app to open Max or any other service.

Warner Bros expected a few hiccups during the transition, but I doubt it expected this many. Subscribers all over Reddit are voicing complaints about login credentials not transferring over, playback issues and poor sound quality, and other issues the original app didn’t have.

I was hoping the voice search from Discovery+ would roll over into the “new and improved” Max app, and I wasn’t the only one, but that didn’t happen.

Either way, there’s a good chance that these problems and bugs will get ironed out over the coming days. The service saw a huge uptick in users due to the switch, and HBO likely paid good money for those remote shortcuts, and Android TV makers will probably fix that with an OTA update shortly. Basically, with a bit of patience, everything should work out.

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He's a staff writer for Review Geek covering roundups, EVs, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and InputMag, and he's written over 9,000 articles. Read Full Bio »