[Update: Fixed] HBO Max for iOS zoom feature removed for "a consistent watching experience"; fix for fullscreen white border on Safari in works

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on April 30, 2021) follows:

Due to the ongoing global crisis, we find ourselves indoors for longer and longer, and with that comes the need to consume even more content.

Online streaming services have seen a lot of increase in users over the past year or so and the same is probably set to continue for a while.

HBO-Max

HBO Max is a pretty popular video streaming site for millions of users across the globe. These users use various devices to access HBO Max and increasingly, we see mobile devices being used due to their portability.

It is coming to light that a recent update to the HBO Max app on iOS has disabled a pretty important feature to a number of its users.

The zoom feature is important for users that would like to tailor their watching experience exactly the way they like it and HBO Max has disabled this feature in a recent update, much to the dismay of users.

hbo max zoom issue on ipad
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Noticed that with the new video player update the zoom button on the bottom right to increase the picture size went away. Is anyone else having that? Some of the older movies I’m watching are super narrow now lol.

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Do you guys think this will change soon because this is a big problem for me. And is anyone else experiencing the same issues?

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I watch movies on my iPhone a lot and I noticed a few days ago they removed the option to fill screen. Is there a way to get this back. The latest update says new video controls and I guess that didn’t make the cut.
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Clearly, this change hasn’t gone well for many users who use their mobile devices to consume content on HBO Max as now, they’re stuck using only a section of their displays.

This issue has been brought extensively to the attention of HBO and in response, the company says that this move was made in a bid to offer a more consistent watching experience.

hbo max zoom issue response
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Hi there, thanks for reaching out. The zoom button was removed from HBO Max on iOS devices to ensure a consistent watching experience across all devices. We appreciate you taking the time to bring this to our attention. Thank you. ^AJ
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It is clear that whatever ‘consistent watching experience’ HBO was going for with this move isn’t working out for a number of users.

It remains unclear whether the company will revert these changes in an upcoming update so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Even as users of HBO Max on mobile devices complain, users on the web, particularly those using Safari, also have an issue with their experience.

hbo max safari white bars
Click/Tap to zoom (Source)

According to users, they now get white bars on either side of the video player on the Safari browser, an eye-sore when watching in dark places.

bruh, I don’t know if it’s just me but hbo max updated a bit, and now when I go full screen there’s a white border at the top and bottom. like it makes me not even wanna watch something on there, it’s terrible. why did y’all do that? change it back…

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A scroll through the forums reveals many similar complaints (1,2,3) from users who are dispealesed about these recent changes.

HBO has since come to respond to these user complaints, acknowledging the issue and promising a fix. No timelines have been issued.

hbo white bars acknowledged

Thank you for replying with this information, this really helps. Our team is aware of this problem at this time and we’re currently working towards a fix. We’ll send this information up for review. ^TW
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It also remains unclear when the HBO Max Safari white bars will be fixed and if the removal of zoom will be addressed as well. That said, we shall continue to keep an eye on these and update as and when we get more info so stay tuned.

Update 1 (May 01, 2021)

IST 01:13 pm: Good news, the issue on Safari has finally been resolved, restarting the browser after updating should bring the fix into effect.

Hey there, we’ve got good news! We fixed the white bar issue you reported on Safari. Try streaming again (you may need to restart your browser), and let us know if you have further problems. ^CD (Source)

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Clinton Madegwa

A cybernaut grasping at all things tech. Lover of Android, Linux, and custom ROMS. A nerd, a writer, an avid reader.