Netflix Starts Blocking Rooted Devices Using Google's Widevine

To all the Netflix fans out there, if you have modified your Android device in anyway, Netflix's Android app may soon stop working on your device.

Earlier today several Reddit users reported of the Netflix Android app going missing from the Play Store. These users had modified their device either by unlocking it's bootloader or by rooting it. This gave rise to suspicions that Netflix had started blocking users with modified devices.

There were several claims to counter the suspicions as well. Reddit users who weren't able to see Netflix's listing on Play Store claimed that they were still able to use the app. In fact when they installed the APK file of the recent update to Netflix (v5.0), they were then able to use the app too. The official changelog for Netflix v5.0 is as follows:

Version 5.0 only works with devices that are certified by Google and meet all Android requirements​

However a statement from Netflix has confirmed the fears of strong measures being taken to counter modified devices. The statement from Netflix follows:

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.

Widevine is a security standard which can tell about the security level of a device. If you have modified your device by unlocking it's bootloader or rooting it, Widevine will be able to detect that.

The implementation of Widevine should mean that the Netflix app should have stopped working for modified devices. But as mentioned earlier, this interestingly isn't the case. However the Play Store listing of the Netflix app is missing for modified devices.

Android Police has suggested that the Play Store might be tied to SafetyNet, another security standard, rather than to Widevine. If your device fails the SafetyNet check, you wouldn't be able to view the Netflix app on the Play Store.

If you still wish to continue using Netflix on your modified device and also have the Play Store listing of the Netflix app, you can consider using Magisk instead of SuperSU or Superuser. Magisk Hide will cloak the root access from SafetyNet and Widevine, which will lead both the security standards to believe that your device isn't modified.

Additionally, you can also install the APK file of Netflix from APKMirror to update the app to the latest version. Even though Netflix v5.0 still works on modified devices, that may not be the case in the future.

Source: Android Police

Krittin Kalra
Krittin Kalra is a 20 year old Android freak. Striving for passions, chasing down his dreams and living a life without regrets is his sole mantra. A bit moody, he also does custom ROM reviews for AndroGuider. Currently pursuing his B.Tech, he aspires to follow his heart.
Netflix Starts Blocking Rooted Devices Using Google's Widevine Netflix Starts Blocking Rooted Devices Using Google's Widevine Reviewed by Krittin Kalra on 5/14/2017 11:20:00 PM
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