An update to HBO Go is a direct assault on your productivity.
The streaming service just added two new features that are sure to send you spiraling into a “just one more” death spin. The new features are Picture-in-Picture (for compatible devices running iOS 9) and autoplay, which is how you sit down to watch a single episode and then look up later to discover the sun has come up, and now you have to go to work.
HBO Go is available to current subscribers for free through their cable companies. Its counterpart, HBO Now, lets non-subscribers pay a monthly fee to access the cable channel’s lineup of shows, movies, and specials.
While Now has supported Picture in Picture since October, the feature is new to Go. It works with iPad Pro, all iPad Air models, and iPad Mini 2 or later, and it lets you display streaming content in a small window in the corner of your display while other apps are open. Autoplaying is new to HBO’s apps, although Now’s November update lets you skip to the next episode while Picture in Picture is active.
These features are part of how Apple’s recent focusing on multitasking in iOS. In addition to Picture in Picture, iOS 9 also introduced Slide Over, which lets newer iPads run apps in a smaller window on the right side of the tablet’s screen without closing the one they’re using, and Split View, which lets iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 4 owners have two apps open and running simultaneously.