Hackers offer workaround to use Netflix on other Android phones

By on May 16, 2011, 8:00 AM

Netflix recently released an Android app for smartphones. Unfortunately, the company limited the app to just five phones: the HTC Incredible with Android 2.2, the HTC Nexus One with Android 2.2 or Android 2.3, the HTC Evo 4G with Android 2.2, the HTC G2 with Android 2.2, and the Samsung Nexus S with Android 2.3.

Hackers have circumvented this restriction by making the app think you are using one of the supported devices. There some unsupported devices which seem to work fine with the app, but others have serious problems, including crashes or no video/sound. A detailed guide has been posted on Reddit for those who want to give this a try (your Android device needs to be rooted) at their own risk, of course.

Netflix explained that because the Android platform has evolved so rapidly, there are significant challenges associated with developing a streaming video application for the ecosystem, such as the lack of standard streaming playback features. The lack of standardization means Netflix has to test each individual handset. The streaming giant says only phones that have requisite playback are being supported right now. The company expects to work with ecosystem partners to expand playback support to more phones, and we should see a Netflix app that works on a large majority of Android phones in the coming months.

Clearly, the hacker community doesn't really care for this and is willing to test the limits of the app. We hope that Netlix reacts appropriately: either by doing nothing or by issuing a standard warning that it cannot support those who use the workarounds.




User Comments: 10

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peperonikiller peperonikiller said:

About time. However since I have an Evo I'm enjoying this awesome app!

Inarius03 said:

With something as obviously popular as this was going to be, they should have waited until they had support for far more devices to release this in the first place.

Guest said:

not enthused that i cannot use it on my phone the xperia10.

Guest said:

I just dont get why not the HTC Inspire? Its basically the same phone as the EVO, except 10 month newer but with out the front camera and HDMI.

Inarius03 said:

Guest said:

I just dont get why not the HTC Inspire? Its basically the same phone as the EVO, except 10 month newer but with out the front camera and HDMI.

I have an Inspire, and I was pretty bummed too.

Guest said:

Really? I am guessing that you don't have one of the supported phones. I own a G2 and downloaded the app hours after it hit the market and I couldn't be happier. How greedy does one have to be to say something like "if I can't get it, then no one should be able to"?

Guest said:

"We hope that Netflix reacts appropriately: either by doing nothing or by issuing a standard warning that it cannot support those who use the workarounds."

.... or, by adding support for additional phones?

.... or, by working with google to develop standardization baked into Android?

BrianUMR said:

I have to agree with guest here. My phone doesn't support Netflix however if Neflix can work on some devices why not allow it. I am sure they will work to get Netflix on more devices. Netflix didn't work for any android users a week ago so why is it a big deal now that it works for some users.

Inarius03 said:

BrianUMR said:

so why is it a big deal now that it works for some users.

I'm sure most of our fathers warned us about doing things "half-assed" whereas apparently these guys didn't get that message. Just would have looked much better overall to delay the release of this new functionality until many more devices were supported and/or bandwidth wouldn't be a problem.

Guest said:

"I'm sure most of our fathers warned us about doing things "half-assed" whereas apparently these guys didn't get that message. Just would have looked much better overall to delay the release of this new functionality until many more devices were supported and/or bandwidth wouldn't be a problem. "

Don't forget, this is Google controlling much of this - the undisputed kings or eternal beta.

Talk about half-assed? That's my definition.

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