Netflix blocks rooted Android devices from downloading its app

By midian182 ยท 10 replies
May 15, 2017
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  1. Netflix has become the latest company to stop users of rooted and unlocked Android devices from downloading its app from the Play Store. The video streaming service’s app still works on modified handsets/tablets that already have it installed, but this could eventually change.

    Like numerous mobile payment apps, Pokemon GO, Snapchat, and many others, Netflix has joined the list of applications making life difficult for those with devices that are rooted or have unlocked bootloaders. The company has confirmed that the decision is due to the full integration of Google’s Widevine digital rights management (DRM) in version 5.0 of the Netflix app.

    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.

    After it introduced the ability to download titles so they can be viewed offline, Netflix will see this move a way of clamping down on potential piracy. Anyone with an affected device can still install the app using other methods, such as sideloading the APK, and, according to Android Police, it still functions normally for now.

    Netflix’s Play Store listing is seemingly tied to whether or not a device is cleared to use Android Pay, rather than Widevine, meaning those that merely have unlocked bootloaders won't be unable to download the Netflix app from Google’s store.

    Unsurprisingly, the move isn’t being welcomed by Android users. It seems the many people who modify their devices just for that extra layer of customization, rather than for nefarious purposes, are also being punished.

    Permalink to story.

  2. erickmendes

    erickmendes TS Maniac Posts: 308   +107

    Way to Go Apple. I mean, Google.
    Kotters and CrazyDave like this.
  3. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +903

    Hehe it's cute, someone who roots their device will probably get a way around this.

    On my end, I normally do it to remove bloatware and unused, useless system apps that come with the phone. This time I haven't done it since it's the company phone, yet I would love to remove the galaxy store and all of it's crap that keeps updating even when I don't care the least for it.
    Theinsanegamer likes this.
  4. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TS Evangelist Posts: 574   +72

    Yeah those same people haven't got around Sky tv/now and channel 4s drm blocking on rooted devices so I doubt they will do this anytime soon.
    Spence1115 likes this.
  5. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,350   +1,998

    I remember the old saying ..... netflixs sucks like drawing vacuum on an onion sack! Oh yeah .......
  6. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,310   +651

    Can't you just download/install it from

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,256   +454

    That really is annoying... there are plenty of us using rooted phones. I too use it with a custom Android OS to get rid of off the crappy bloatware my provider puts on my phone.
    NeoFlux likes this.
  8. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,573   +715

    Except this is REALLY easy to get around, as the only thing that is blocked is your ability to see it in the App store... In fact, the article itself gives you a couple of ways to install Netflix on your rooted device...
    Milest, Kibaruk and Theinsanegamer like this.
  9. OutlawCecil

    OutlawCecil TS Maniac Posts: 269   +141

    I agree, anybody with a rooted phone can simply download an .apk file from somebody else. This is just a dumb trend. When I buy a phone, it's MY phone. If I want to remove bloat apps, I should be able to. If new cars came with big logos on them, you can't expect people not to try to cover them. *rolls eyes*
  10. turismozilla

    turismozilla TS Addict Posts: 173   +55

    Yes you can. It's what I did when I ran into that problem.
    p51d007 likes this.
  11. Axiarus

    Axiarus TS Maniac Posts: 253   +126

    Heh, so this is why I couldn't install Netflix after I installed PureNexus, ElementalX and rooted. I thought it had to do with my ROM causing some sort of version problem. Can't you just turn off the SuperUser, install it and then turn the SU back on? I just downloaded the APK to be honest. Do they really think this will stop someone who has rooted their phone? Someone who already has knowledge about how to do this stuff?

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