Android is fairly friendly to enthusiasts and tinkerers who want to make their devices run in particular manner or want to get rid of dreadful skins that get into the way of vanilla Android. You can remove OEM’s software customization and bloat if you are ready to take a few steps and your device has some love from developers. Usually, this takes the form of root access where you can have those administrative privileges to unofficially install/flash packages and change permissions.
If you fall into this category and love streaming content from Netflix, you are out of luck this time round. The latest updates for the on-demand Internet streaming app have incorporated Google’s Widevine Digital Rights Management protocol (solution for multi-platform content protection), which renders the app unusable once it detects a rooted device or those that have no Google certification (some OEMs, mostly of Chinese origin are non-certified, meaning their devices are not loaded with Google Mobile Services (GMS) to run Google Apps). In fact, the app is unavailable in the Play Store if your device is rooted.
The reason for this decision is straightforward; Netflix is patching all loopholes that may encourage piracy. As mentioned above, root access gives users a lot of power to go right into the heart of the OS with permissions to modify the system. Unrestricted access makes it easy for people to pirate TV shows and movies downloaded from Netflix. Also, the issue has been fueled by the company’s decision that allows users to download content for offline viewing.
We do not know if Netflix will lift this decision as it may affect a number of genuine viewers with altered versions of Android. However, no one will be surprised if developers cook a fix in the coming days. For the meantime, remain unrooted and hold your breath for House of Cards.