How to get a free month of HBO Now on Apple TV or iOS


HBO Now on the big screen. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
HBO Now on the big screen. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Want a free month of HBO Now on your Apple TV, iPad or iPhone? If you sign up for the standalone service now, you can watch the premier of Game of Thrones on April 15 absolutely free.

I’m a long-time cord cutter and I’m super-excited that I can now purchase HBO directly from the television network, via iTunes, instead of having to sign up for a local cable TV package and then pay for HBO on top of that.

If you’ve got an Apple TV or an iOS device, you can get your own free month. Here’s how.

Once you turn on your Apple TV, you’ll see the new HBO Now channel waiting for you with a little blue “New” band in the upper-right corner of the icon. Since this is your first attempt to create an HBO Now account, choose that option by clicking the center button on your Apple TV remote when the large picture, labeled “Free Month,” is highlighted.

You’ll then need to enter your email address so you can get an email from HBO that will explain how to get HBO Now on your iPhone and iPad. You’ll then need to click on the Agree button for the licensing agreement, and then Subscribe to HBO Now.

The service will use your iTunes account via your Apple ID, so whatever card you have attached to your iTunes account will be charged a month after your free trial is up.

“After the trial period, your Apple ID will automatically be charged $14.99 every 1 month until your subscription is canceled,” says the on-screen prompt. “To cancel auto-renewal, turn it off from your iTunes account settings on your computer, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.”

You may have some issues today with two-step verification. I got an error saying that Verification Codes were unavailable. If this happens to you, you can turn off two-step verification temporarily, subscribe to HBO Now, and then turn two-step back on again.

Oh, Arya, how we love you. Photo: HBO
Oh, Arya, how we love you. Photo: HBO

Once you’ve signed up for the HBO Now service, you’ll get an email with a link to the iOS app or the website. You can also grab the app directly in iTunes, and then launch it on your iPhone or iPad.

Whether you click through to the website or launch the iOS app on your iPhone or iPad, you’ll need to register an email address and password to log in to HBO Now and watch on the web or on your iOS device. There may be some glitches today as we all try to log in: I’m still not able to log in on the web or on my iPhone, but I’m able to access all the content on my Apple TV.

However you access, though, having HBO’s entire catalog of award-winning television shows, movies and documentaries is a wonderful thing, especially if you don’t have to deal with cable television for the privilege.


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