There is still no HBO Max app for Roku streaming devices, but some Roku users can now use the service with a simple workaround — just in time for the premiere of Wonder Woman 1984. The new DC Comics adaptation is expected to draw a ton of new subscribers to HBO Max when it premieres later this month, and many will be looking for ways to get the app on their Roku device. If that's you, you will need Apple's AirPlay 2 app, or its HomeKit app.
Roku and WarnerMedia are still locked in tense negotiations to get HBO Max a slot in the Roku app store, so for now, the only way to watch it is with a little extra work. The Apple apps AirPlay 2 and HomeKit allow users to "cast" media from an iPhone, iPad or other Apple device onto the Roku, giving them access to media that they may not be able to reach through Roku's onboard operating system. While this method is sound, it has some big drawbacks.
Sadly, AirPlay 2 and HomeKit have only been added to select new Roku devices — the ones that are capable of updating to Roku OS 9.4 This includes versions of the Roku Ultra, Roku Premiere, Roku Streaming Stick Plus, the Roku Streambar and the Roku Smart Soundbar.
If you have any of those devices, you'll need to try and update its software to see if it can handle Roku OS 9.4. If so, you'll be able to find AirPlay 2 or HomeKit on your Roku device, open the same app on your Apple device, and get the binge-watching started.
This fix works for a narrow group of Roku users — only those who have both a relatively new, 4K-enabled Roku device, as well as a compatible Apple device. However, it's worth noting that this still leaves quite a bit of room for adaptation. The AirPlay 2 app works with the iPhone, iPad or Mac computer, while the HomeKit app uses those as well as the Apple Watch and the HomePod. If you have Apple's wearable tech or voice-controlled home assistant, you can actually make this work with a little experimentation.
For those with older Roku devices and/or non-Apple phones, the problem persists. Many have taken to watching HBO Max on other devices, including video game consoles, Google Chromecasts or computers. The streaming service has finally reached a deal with Amazon Fire TV, and a deal with Roku is expected to follow soon after.
However you watch, you will want to have HBO Max ready to go this month when it adds the brand new Wonder Woman sequel straight to its catalog. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the movie will be available on HBO Max on Dec. 25, 2020 — the same day it begins its theatrical run. HBO Max is available now for $14.99 per month, with a seven-day free trial.