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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.