Netflix Blocks Rooted Android Devices
Ashley Allen / 1 month ago
As of today, the Netflix Android app is blocked on any device that is not “Google-certified” or has “been altered.” As a result of this policy change, Netflix is no longer available through the Google Play Store on rooted Android devices. The move has come about, it seems, due to Netflix’s adoption of Google’s Widevine DRM solution. Presumably, that means Netflix fears that Widevine could be circumvented on a rooted device.
What is Rooting?
“Rooting” an Android tablet or smartphone gives administrative subsystem access – usually locked out by carriers and hardware manufacturers – to users. Rooting an Android device boasts many benefits:
- Ability to uninstall mandatory bloatware and proprietary UIs;
- Opens the device up to millions of apps, including custom ROMS;
- Fully customise your interface;
- Make complete backups of your data.
Rooting, though, does void a device’s warranty and leaves it more open to security threats. Root at your own risk.
Where Does This Leave Rooters?
Existing Netflix users on rooted Android devices will still have access to the last version of the app installed. However, they will not be able to update the app to Version 5.0 via legitimate means.
“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.”
Users of rooted devices, though, will be familiar with sideloading APKs. As Android Police explains, a blocked device can still get Netflix updates from the Pushbullet channel APKMirror. So much for DRM.