HBO published a teaser video for its upcoming release of streaming HBO GO apps for iOS and Android devices earlier this week, hinting a planned release date of May 2. Now DirecTV, one of the providers whose HBO subscribers get HBO GO access has tweeted up an update on the release, confirming the May 2 date for the Android app, but nonchalantly adding that it will only be available for select smartphones.
This mirrors what we’ve heard to expect from Netflix, where the openness of the Android platform is seen as a liability by the studios in control of the streaming content, and the only way they’ll permit the use of their holdings is with DRM in place that would only be readable by more recent Android devices with secure processors. No one’s yet published an exhaustive list of just which phones would fall into which group, but it seems like a significant fraction wouldn’t make the cut.
We don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves here, before we see just which Android phones HBO GO will be available for, but we’ve got a bad feeling that we could be looking at the next wave of further Android fragmentation.