Using HBO Now on a Compatible Device

Though you’ll likely want to use HBO Now on your PC to watch your programs with a larger picture, there are some reasons why you may want to know how to use HBO Now on another compatible device. With an Internet connection, you can take HBO Now with you wherever you go, and watch it whenever you want. This lesson will show you how to use HBO Now on another compatible device, and how it differs from using it on your PC.
(For a list of compatible HBO Now devices, check out this tutorial.)

Download and sign up for an HBO Now account

In order to get a subscription to HBO Now, you must first register with a compatible device. Search for HBO Now in your app store and download it, and follow the steps to register for an account. Then, sign in to your HBO Now account.

Sign in to your HBO Now account using the sign in screen

You are now signed in to HBO Now on your device, and can begin using it to stream your favourite HBO shows! Below we will show you how to use the service on your device, using an Android mobile phone as an example. Other platforms will differ slightly, but the main controls and navigation will be the same.

How to stream content on HBO Now on your device: 4 differences from your PC

Any content you stream on your computer will automatically update to your account on your mobile devices. You can also set HBO Now up on as many devices as you like, streaming simultaneously. This means that your whole family (or all of your roommates) can enjoy HBO Now at the same time!

There are a few ways you can go about finding programs you want to see on HBO Now on your device. This process is very similar to how you use HBO Now on your computer; it is just set up differently to be better optimized for your device. So how is HBO Now different from when you use it on your PC? Try using these tricks to navigate through HBO Now on your device:

1. The home page

On your device, the home page of HBO Now has far less content and options than your web browser version. From the top, you can cycle through what’s Featured by HBO, and what is currently Trending with other users. You can then scroll down the page to see what is listed in these two categories. A static bar will also form across the top to suggest you continue watching your last program – tap the bar to do this, or tap the X to close it.

View the HBO Now home page in your app for quick viewing options

From this page, you can also tap the magnifying glass in the top right corner to open up a search box in order to look for specific content, if you know exactly what you’re looking for. HBO Now will suggest movies and shows for you as you type, but only by name. This means you should know what you’re looking for if you use the search function.

2. Finding your favourite HBO shows and movies

To navigate through the device-version of HBO Now, most of your options will come from the menu bar. This is an icon of three horizontal lines in the top left corner, and you tap it to go almost anywhere on the app.

Click the three horizontal lines in the top left corner to do almost anything in HBO Now – this is your menu bar

Tap on it to choose from a selection of browsing and additional options. Tap on one of the following sections to browse through content in that section: Series, Movies, Kids, Comedy, Sports, Documentaries, or Collections.

In the menu, click on any of the options to narrow down your search for content

From each of these screens, scroll through further categories such as Featured, All, Series, Movies, or other genres and styles of the content you are searching through. Tap on any of these at the top to filter your selections, or scroll down to mine through all that HBO Now has to offer you in that category.

Scroll through categories at the top such as all, featured, series, or movies to narrow your search

Each category (except for Featured) is sorted alphabetically, but unlike with your web browser, there is no way to quickly jump to another letter. Don’t worry though – the app scrolls quickly! And remember, you can still search at any time by tapping the magnifying glass.

3. Changing your settings and account

Rather than tapping your name at the top of the screen like the browser-based version of HBO now, in the app, you need start by tapping the menu button. Then select Settings at the very bottom of the list.

Click menu and then settings to change any of your HBO Now settings

From here you can update your Profile, Billing Information, Parental Controls, Video Playback, and Notifications. You can also access the HBO Now Help, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Legal Notices. Change any of these settings the same way you would on your computer.

In your settings, you can access your profile, billing information, parental controls, video playback, and notifications

This is also how you sign out from HBO Now. From any page, tap the menu, select Settings, and tap the blue Sign Out button at the bottom.

Click the blue sign out button at the bottom of your settings to sign out

The only additional option is the Video Playback, which allows you to change two functions. The first is WiFi Only, which when selected, means that you will only stream content with a WiFi connection – never with data. The second is Cellular Playback Warning, which will warn you that streaming HBO Now shows and movies with data uses a large amount. For more information about data usage, visit our tutorial on HBO Now data usage.

Click the blue toggles to enable WiFi only or Cellular Playback Warning for HBO Now on a device

4. Adding to and accessing your Watchlist

Adding movies and shows to your Watchlist in the HBO Now app is quite different than it is in browser-based version, as there is no way to move a cursor over the program icons. If you tap on any program in the app, it will immediately begin playback. To add to the Watchlist, tap the name of the program below the icon, and then tap Add to Watchlist.

Click Add To Watchlist to add a program to view later

In the HBO Now app, the Watchlist is not located at the top of every page (as it is in the browser-based version). Here, you can find it by tapping the menu, and selecting the second option, Watchlist. From here you can browse through the programs you’ve added to the Watchlist, or select Continue Watching at the top to continue watching your current programs.

Click menu and then watchlist to find the programs you have added to your HBO Now watchlist

You cannot filter your Watchlist with the app, so they will automatically be organized by whatever is most recently added. Remove an item from your Watchlist by tapping on it, and selecting Remove From Watchlist. In the app, you can also press Edit in the top right corner to begin selecting programs, and then press Delete. You can also press Select All and then Delete to remove every item from your Watchlist.

Select programs on your watchlist and click delete to remove them

How to use the HBO Now app video player

When browsing through the HBO Now app, you might come across a movie or show that you want to watch immediately. If this is the case, you can always tap on the white play symbol in the bottom-left corner of each program icon.  You can also tap a program to select it, then click on the program icon.

The HBO Now video controls – use them to optimize your viewing experience

The video player in the app is very similar to the one on your PC, but there are some minor differences. Just tap the screen anywhere to make the controls appear. Also, depending on which device you have chosen, you may need to enable the screen rotation function, especially if you are using a mobile device. This way, your program will play in landscape and full screen, rather than in a small window on the screen.

  • There is no speaker icon in the app video player, so you must use the controls on your device to raise or lower the volume.
  • The pause icon will appear in the very center of your screen – tap on it to stop playback. This automatically turns into the play button, which you can tap when you want to resume watching your movie or show.

    The HBO now pause and play icons are used to temporarily stop and resume playback

  • To skip your playback ten seconds ahead, tap the +10 symbol to the right of the pause button. You can also press the -10 symbol on the left to skip your program back ten seconds.

    Click the -10 to skip back 10 seconds and the +10 to skip ahead 10 seconds

  • Along the bottom of the controls is a seek bar, which allows to you skip to a specific point in the program. You would typically use this function if you are continuing playback for something you have already started watching.

    Use the seek bar to skip ahead to a specific moment in the program

  • In the top-right corner of the video player is a square with three dots inside of it, which is the caption button. Tap it to turn on captions; you can also adjust your caption settings, including the font size, color, and more.

    The caption button is a small square with three dots inside, and allows you to add subtitles or alter caption settings

  • To exit the video player, tap the arrow in the top-left corner, next to the name of the program that you are watching.

    Click the arrow next to the name of the program you’re watching to exit playback

That’s the basic run-down of how to use HBO Now on a compatible device, and how its’ different from doing so on your PC. Remember that streaming on another device, especially a mobile phone, can run up your data bill extensively!