Just a day after posting about the possibilities of what will become of the HBO apps on Fire TV devices, we now have some definitive answers. Amazon and HBO have still not reached an agreement to bring the new HBO MAX app to Fire TV devices, but they have reached an agreement to keep some kind of HBO app access on the device. On August 1st, the existing HBO NOW app will remain on Fire TV devices, but it will be renamed to simply ‘HBO.’ At the same time, the HBO GO app will be removed with no replacement app.
Amazon has sent customers emails with this development, according to Variety. What this means is that HBO NOW subscribers will not see an interruption in access to the stand-alone service that they currently receive. I expect that the new ‘HBO’ app will be identical to the existing HBO NOW app, apart from the name. It likely won’t have any of the additional content found in the HBO MAX app, but the renamed app will probably have the same content that the HBO NOW app has today.
The biggest losers are HBO GO users. Those customers who subscribe to HBO through a TV provider and, therefore, cannot use the existing HBO NOW app or the upcoming ‘HBO’ app, will have no way to officially access HBO content on Fire TV devices once the HBO GO app is removed on August 1st. We still don’t know if already installed HBO GO apps will continue to function or not, but if they do not, HBO GO users have two options.
The first option is to sideload the HBO MAX app onto their device. My guide on how to sideload HBO MAX is very detailed and should be easy enough for anyone to follow, however, a small set of people are reporting issues with activating the app so it seems like not all TV providers are carrying HBO GO access over to HBO MAX apps equally. If sideloading HBO MAX isn’t for you or you can’t activate it, your only other option is to cancel your HBO subscription with your TV provider and subscribe to HBO directly, so that you can use the new ‘HBO’ app.
If you’re switching subscriptions, and you’re a Prime member, you might want to consider subscribing to HBO through Prime Video Channels. The Price is the same if you subscribe through HBO directly or if you subscribe through Prime Video Channels. The advantage of subscribing through Prime Video Channels, instead of subscribing directly through HBO, is that if all HBO apps ever get removed or stop working on Fire TV’s, you’ll still be able to access HBO content on a Fire TV directly through the main Fire TV interface, just like you access Prime Video. The disadvantage of subscribing through Prime Video Channels is that if this dispute between HBO and Amazon goes on long enough, the HBO Prime Video Channel might be dropped altogether, which means you would then have to subscribe directly through HBO.