It's Official: Foxtel Now Is Dead On Mobile

Image: HBO

I've always found Foxtel streaming a bit confusing. That's because two streaming apps exist, Foxtel Now and Foxtel Go, and the differences between them seem quite minimal. Foxtel has now announced it's pushing mobile device users to Foxtel Go while Foxtel Now will remain for everything non-mobile like smart TVs and consoles. Here's what you need to know.

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What's the difference between Foxtel Go and Foxtel Now anyway?

Until now, the differences were quite minor and even a table provided by Foxtel didn't clarify it much further. Essentially, Foxtel Go was a streaming service included for set-top box subscribers so they could travel and still use the service while Foxtel Now was a standalone streaming service. Both subscriptions had their own standalone apps on the Apple Store and Google Play Store.

But Foxtel Now users could also purchase a Foxtel Now box, if their TV wasn't smart. The box also offered a number of apps such as YouTube, ABC iView and, if they had a subscription, even the Stan app.

In the latest confusing move, Foxtel will shut down Foxtel Now on smartphones and tablets, but the app will remain on smart TVs and consoles. Moving forward, Foxtel Go will be the primary app on smartphones and tablets and Foxtel Go will replace the app on mobile devices for Foxtel Now subscribers.

"By focusing on one app, we will also add more value for Foxtel Now customers by providing access to popular features and support from Foxtel Go that were previously unavailable on the Foxtel Now app," Foxtel executive Alice Mascia said in a press release.

"These features include a preview screen to watch show trailers, an expanded Kids homepage and support for Android 10 and iOS 13, providing them with an even better mobile experience."

Yes, our head hurts too.

What happens now?

With the changes expected to be live from 17 September, Foxtel Now customers will be pushed to download the Foxtel Go app for their mobile devices. Foxtel Kids app users will also to need to switch over to Foxtel Go as the Kids app being fully retired in January 2020.

User experience-wise, the two apps look very similar so previous Now users won't find the migration too challenging.

Image: Foxtel/Lifehacker Australia

What remains confusing is that while a person might have a Foxtel Now subscription, they'll need to use the Foxtel Go app if they're using their phone. If they want to stream Foxtel Now through a PlayStation 4, for example, they'll still have to use Foxtel Now.

And we leave you with that headache.

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Comments

    Just to further clarify: As this article states, you NEED a FoxtelNow subscription to use FoxtelNow apps. Game consoles use FoxtelNow apps (as does the little TelstraTV box that ships with Telstra NBN).

    The FoxtelGO app is available to all regular Foxtel subscribers but the app is only available on Android, iOS and your PC browser (Google Chrome).

    If you have two TV's in your house and you'd like to watch different Foxtel programs on each simultaneously (ie if you have a media room or a second TV somewhere for the kids):

    - The FoxtelGo app on Android or iOS smartphones is blocked from casting to the likes of Chromecast (for big-screen viewing).

    - However, as I mentioned, you can watch FoxtelGo via a browser (only GoogleChrome). You can then connect your laptop to your TV via HDMI, grab your wireless mouse, mirror or extend the screen, and watch Foxtel on another big screen

    It's getting harder and harder to justify this monthly fee.

    About a year ago, I helped my folks navigate this, and from what I could tell, one of the main differences was around the ability to cast/display the content onto a TV.

    Foxtel Go was for people with a set-top box subscription, so the app was intended to supplement that when away from the set-top box. As a result, you couldn't cast from Foxtel Go. If you wanted to watch Foxtel on a larger screen, you had the set-top box for that. Foxtel Go now does support casting, but only if you've got a "multiroom" Foxtel account, or have purchased a "Casting" add-on to your subscription.

    Foxtel Now on the other hand, was a dedicated streaming offer, and included the ability to cast to a larger screen.

    I don't know what's going to happen with casting when Foxtel Now is rolled into Foxtel Go. Possibly, it'll continue to be based on your account subscription, with casting disabled for standard set-top box account holders.

    Last edited 17/09/19 3:42 pm

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