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Latest Netflix app doesn't want to play with rooted devices

by Mark Tyson on 15 May 2017, 11:01

Tags: Netflix, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qadhgv

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Over the weekend Netflix has appeared to have taken steps to prevent the use of its app on rooted or unlocked Android devices. Video and music streaming firms can be a little over-protective with their content, I remember I had a rooted smartphone once and the Now TV app wouldn't let me watch any content from my subscription. Now it looks like Netflix has gone the same way.

The change has been confirmed by Netflix in a communication with Android Police. "With our latest 5.0 release, we now fully rely on the Widevine DRM provided by Google; therefore, many devices that are not Google-certified or have been altered will no longer work with our latest app and those users will no longer see the Netflix app in the Play Store," wrote a Netflix rep.

So, if you want to download the Netflix app and your Android device is one of those 'modified' devices you will be told "your device isn't compatible with this version" of the app. Reading the app changelog on the Play Store confirms that "Version 5.0 only works with devices that are certified by Google and meet all Android requirements."

Above you can see my previously owned 'modified' Galaxy Note 2 smartphone wouldn't be compatibile with Netflix.
I had only modified it to install a modern Android OS, otherwise it was stuck on Jelly Bean.

Further investigations by Android Police have discovered that if you can find an alternative source to download the Netflix app, even the newest version, it will run without issue on your unlocked / rooted device. Netflix 4.16 and 5.0.4 both ran without a hitch on a 'modified' Samsung Galaxy Tab S, it was found. Grabbing apps like this outside of the Play Store isn't very tricky from sites like APKMirror.



HEXUS Forums :: 19 Comments

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So because my device is a couple of years old and no longer supported - to get important security updates I have to root ‘n’ ROM it, but by doing so I can't get up-to-date apps :-/
jimbouk
So because my device is a couple of years old and no longer supported - to get important security updates I have to root ‘n’ ROM it, but by doing so I can't get up-to-date apps :-/

Ready to spend hard earned money to buy back into the Android environment? :surrender::whip: All in the name of destroying those pesky evil pirates, of course. Monetary gain just a side effect…
It's almost like companies don't want people to use their services….and they wonder why people still end up going to get torrents and the likes….it's probably because they don't get stuck behind asinine restrictions.

There's more than just ‘pirating’ things that can benefit from root access (security software like cerberus for the phone for example).

Then there's the obvious issue of updates where we need to root our to install custom roms (this is android after all) because of either wanting a custom install or just to get the newest version because the manufacturer won't or are taking ages to update the software.
Final nail in the coffin for me to be honest.
Cancelled Netflix.

This is what happens when idiots push their stupid rules and restrictions on to what were otherwise happy customers, those customers, like me, will revert back to dubious sources where no restrictions exist.
Yet here I was, happily willing to pay for what I received until you (Netflix) made that difficult and restrictive again, for no known legit reason, punishing customers for being faithful.

Netflix is dead to me now, I'd never even remotely consider becoming a customer again or paying for content EVER again on any other service. Once bitten and all that.

Back to the dodgy box.
I never got the whole fuss with Netflix in the first place. Trialled it last year, but was totally underwhelmed by the content. Not my bag at all.