This weekend, Netflix has updated its app on the Play Store. Root smartphones or those whose bootloader has been unlocked can no longer download the application from the Google application store. A change that follows the addition of a new DRM within the SVOD application.
This weekend, many Android smartphone users have been surprised to be unable to download the Netflix app on the Play Store. The search for the app on the Google store did not return any results for Netflix. The US website Android Police quickly found that the disappearance of the application only concerned Android smartphones rooted or whose bootloader was unlocked.
Intentional blockage linked to a new DRM
Netflix quickly confirmed that this blocking was intentional and integrated into the latest update of the application. ” With our latest release in version 5.0, we have integrated the Widevine DRM designed by Google. As a result, many devices that are not certified by Google or that have been tampered with will no longer work with the latest version of our app. And these users can no longer access the app from the Play Store . ”
In other words, Netflix has done well on purpose to block the rooted smartphones and does not intend to go back. DRM Widevine is a DRM that examines devices (mobile or not) and categorizes them into three levels of security, ranging from “all processes work in TEE (Trusted Execution Environment) mode” No process will operate in TEE mode.
The application still works by installing it from an APK file
However, if the app is no longer accessible on the Play Store, it still seems to work on unlocked or rooted smartphones. In other words, it is still possible (but for how long?) To install the application via another store or a manual installation and the latter seems to work properly. Currently, if you have a rooted smartphone, you can download and install the latest versions of the Netflix application via APK Mirror.
If you do not know what a rooted or unlocked smartphone is, you are not affected by this change. Unlocking the bootloader on your smartphone or rooting it requires relatively heavy technical manipulation: you have to connect your smartphone to your PC, enter command lines and often erase the internal memory of your device.
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