If you find yourself firing up the Netflix app on your rooted Android device only to see it not functioning as normal, then this is an indication that you are running Netflix’s latest version on Android. In other words, the newest Netflix app version for Android which has just been updated on the Google Play store, will no longer work on rooted Android-powered smartphones and tablets. Netflix has confirmed this move, citing that it will block devices that are not “Google-certified or have been altered”, preventing them from gaining access to the mobile video streaming service.
What is the reason behind this move by Netflix? There is no specific explanation, but one can surely have their fair share of speculation. It is useful to take note that Version 5 of the Netflix app does lean on Google’s Widevine digital rights management solution, which points to some rather concrete reasons for Netflix’s move concerning rooted Android device compatibility. The whole idea of having the DRM in the first place is to help media companies protect their interests from the scourge of piracy. Rooted devices that offer users full control over the operating system would, in all probability, also have a greater degree of possibility when it comes to overcoming the different levels of defenses put in place by the DRM. Hence, not allowing the Netflix app to work on rooted Android devices seems to be the next best step at the moment.
However, there are always two sides to a coin in any story. While the intention behind Netflix’s action might be well meaning, it does have negative repercussions on users who have taken the effort to root their respective smartphones for one simple reason -- to be able to gain a greater degree of control as well as level of customization of their handsets as opposed to bypassing security measures. The easiest way to figure out whether your Android-powered device is rooted or not would be to check the Netflix app on the Google Play Store. If the amm is still compatible, then you are good to go. Otherwise, that means you are running on a rooted version of Android, and would have to give that “status” up by flashing a regular version of Android over your device to have it return to “normal”. It really depends on what you would like to have more on your mobile device though. After all, Netflix can also be accessed via other kinds of platforms if it is not too high on your priority list as opposed to using a rooted Android smartphone.
There is also a temporary workaround to allowing the latest Netflix app to run on a rooted Android device. Obtain the Netflix APK directly in order to pick up the most recent updates if you have a rooted Android device, making this one of the easiest methods that work, and work well.
Rooting is basically allowing the smartphone's owner to gain root permissions on the handset itself. In other words, it is similar to running programs as an administrator in Windows, or running a command with sudo in Linux. A rooted device will enable one to run apps that require different kinds of access to selected system settings, in addition to being able to flash custom ROMs to the device which will certainly increase the functionality of a device. However, there are risks involved with rooting your device. It will firstly void the warranty on your device, and there is always the possibility of the rooting process bricking your handset. However, if all rooting instructions are followed properly, then there should be no issues whatsoever with rooting the device without experiencing any kind of bricking.