Why Apple TV 4K Siri Remote video scrubbing doesn’t work on Disney+, other apps

Why doesn’t video scrubbing work on Disney+ and other select apps with the new new Apple TV 4K Siri Remote? Because certain video services, like Disney+ or HBO Max, use a custom player instead of Apple’s tvOS API.

With an all-new Siri Remote, innovative color balance technology, and high frame rate HDR, the new Apple TV 4K delivers a massive upgrade to any television by leveraging a deep integration of Apple hardware, software, and services.
With an all-new Siri Remote, innovative color balance technology, and high frame rate HDR, the new Apple TV 4K delivers a massive upgrade to any television by leveraging a deep integration of Apple hardware, software, and services.

Mike Peterson for AppleInsider:

The new Siri Remote has a feature that allows users to scrub through content by using the touch-sensitive control pad as a “scroll wheel.” However, some users recently noticed that the feature stopped working on HBO Max after the service ditched Apple’s tvOS API.

On Friday, Disney+, which also caught flak for not supporting the new Siri Remote capability, confirmed to The Verge that the scrubbing feature isn’t available at all on its own service. That’s because, like HBO Max, Disney+ uses its own custom video player.

Scroll wheel scrubbing is only available to apps that use Apple’s native media player, and it isn’t clear if such features will be made available to third-party player platforms.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple TV app developers should just use Apple’s tvOS APIs to deliver a uniform experience to users – especially for something so basic as video scrubbing. If it ain’t broke, don’t “fix” it. And, if these custom players are delivering some useful metrics to the developer that doesn’t infringe on user privacy, Apple should add those to their API(s) ASAP in order to get everyone on the same page.

9 Comments

    1. OR…

      They want to have one single piece of software set across all platforms (Apple, Android, Windows, Cable companies, etc.) rather than having their system call a different set of APIs depending upon what platform the end user is utilizing at the moment.

      While this obviously provides a poorer interface for users, there is logic there. I disagree with the end result of the logic, but they can make the argument that their user experience is consistent across all platforms.

      Personally, I feel they should use the interfaces of the platforms and if it is better on one (It’s best on Apple because…) and worse on another (It’s worse on Comcast Cable because…) they should just say that.

  1. There really needs to be more consistency to the playback UI across apps. HBO Max also just did an update that does away with the swipe down to access CC and audio controls. Super annoying.

    1. Try running HBOMax on Roku instead. I recently added Roku Ultra under my Apple TV 4K Classic. I like the Roku Ultra interface better. And there are hundreds of channels to choose from. Way more than are on AppleTV.

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