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Android developers can now block rooted devices, Netflix bites
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-05-18 21:46:03

Over the weekend, it was discovered that the Android Netflix application could no longer be installed on rooted Android devices - in fact, it vanished from the Play Store on rooted devices completely. Netflix then confirmed it started blocking rooted devices from installing the Netflix application.

Well, it turns out we'll only be going downhill from here, as Google explained at I/O that from now on, developers will be able to block their applications from being installed on rooted Android devices.

Developers will be able to choose from 3 states shown in the top image: not excluding devices based on SafetyNet, excluding those that don't pass integrity, or excluding the latter plus those that aren't certified by Google. That means any dev could potentially block their apps from showing and being directly installable in the Play Store on devices that are rooted and/or running a custom ROM, as well as on emulators and uncertified devices (think Meizu and its not-so-legal way of getting Play Services and the Play Store on its phones). This is exactly what many of you were afraid would happen after the Play Store app started surfacing a Device certification status.

This is bad news for the custom ROM community. If I can no longer install Netflix (and possibly more applications) on custom ROMs, there's no way I'll be using custom ROMs on my devices. For now, this is a Play function and we can still sideload the applications in question, but with Google Play Services installed on virtually every Android device, one has to wonder - and worry - how long it'll be before such checks happen on-device instead of in-Play.

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-30 -- 31-37
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go on google push a bit harder...
By codifies on 2017-05-19 09:05:08
I havent had g framework on my phone for years and enjoy the extended battery life

Block too many apps and i'll do the same with my tablet, why would i give up the privacy and flexability of a custom rom?
Permalink - Score: 1
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RE: Google embracing the dark side.
By Vanders on 2017-05-19 09:33:32
Companies like Netflix don't care if actual piracy is increased, as long as they aren't the source. Because that's the stick that the studios & groups like the MPAA will use to beat them with.
Permalink - Score: 7
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RE[2]: Google embracing the dark side.
By kurkosdr on 2017-05-19 10:07:10
> Companies like Netflix don't care if actual piracy is increased, as long as they aren't the source. Because that's the stick that the studios & groups like the MPAA will use to beat them with.

This.

Also, this is one of the reasons anyone spending big money on a non-Nexus and non-Pixel phone is IMO doing a big mistake. You are paying a truckload of money just to have to deal with the pain of slow updates or the pain of unofficial ROMs, and, as this example proves, unofficial ROMs won't be treated as first class citizens for long...

Edited 2017-05-19 10:21 UTC
Permalink - Score: 6
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RE[3]: Google embracing the dark side.
By winter skies on 2017-05-19 11:13:04
On the other side, if you buy Pixel or Nexus devices you are actively supporting the same company that lured users with openness and now is closing the doors on them. Most OEMs don't care so much because they mainly want to sell you hardware.
Permalink - Score: 5
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RE: Why not ?
By winter skies on 2017-05-19 11:15:04
I think the point is not just Netflix per se. It is that every developer might be doing so sooner or later and it might become unfeasible to use a rooted device in daily life.
Permalink - Score: 3
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RE[4]: Google embracing the dark side.
By kurkosdr on 2017-05-19 12:01:56
> On the other side, if you buy Pixel or Nexus devices you are actively supporting the same company that lured users with openness and now is closing the doors on them. Most OEMs don't care so much because they mainly want to sell you hardware.

On the other hand, if you expect openness to become mainstream, you are probably busy buying the Brooklyn Bridge and the Eiffel Tower right now.

There are just too many interests working against openness. There are corporate interests like DRM (essentially, fully open OSes avoid DRM by avoiding official content clients and opting for unofficial ones that have to play catch up with new versions of the DRM) and there are customer interests like the need to have a single platform that runs the same apps across all devices and "flavors" (remember that the reason Google can enforce the Android Compatibility Definition is because they hold the keys to the proprietary closed Play Store).

Everybody knew Google's openness promise was a lie since the Honeycomb era, but they still feel the need to whine about it. And no, it didn't play a role in Google's success, otherwise the Nexus One would have been a roaring success, as the most open Android phone. Yet the majority of customers opted for Samsung's closed TouchWiz.

Edited 2017-05-19 12:06 UTC
Permalink - Score: 2
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Android/iOS
By sapere aude on 2017-05-19 13:39:28
The main reason for me to stay with Android is getting root and choose a custom ROM, so I can do much more with my phone when compared to iPhone/iOS.

Now, I'm using a cheap Motoroloa phone with latest Android thanks to a custom ROM. I can also choose what it'll run, saving space, memory and battery life. I would never pay the price of a high end Android if I couldn't get root acces or install a custom ROM.

For now, Magisk is working as promised, and I can install Netflix and Super Mario Run from Play Store, but we don't know for how long this will be truth. If both platforms (Android and iOS) have the same drawbacks, I'll jump to Apple's - at least I don't need to wait 1+ year for an official update.
Permalink - Score: 2
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All about trust...
By dionicio on 2017-05-19 13:56:48
You trust your ROM provider. Netflix maybe not.

Everyone would like to walk over trusted layering. I would, but can't.
Permalink - Score: 3
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RE: All about trust...
By dionicio on 2017-05-19 14:27:58
As In Alien the movie: First to Wake OWNS the Ship :-)

Time will come, when ROMs credentials will be enforced. Remembering Shielded CPUs are already in production.
Permalink - Score: 2
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RE: There are workaround
By Amanita on 2017-05-19 15:10:26
Yeah, but isn't that the same in the end - users having full control over a device simply implies some of them messing around with, and some of these some wanting to circumvent stupid lockdowns like not being able to get Spotify music as .mp3/.ogg or, well, netflix as .mp4 ...

I'd pay gladly for such services, if they weren't so locked down ... just a neutral look at, dealing with the average pirated stuff these days implies ad- and malware-infested one(two/three/fiveteen) click hosters, fake countdowns just to have a "we hate adblock" thingy pop up after the video finally started (and that adblock was already off, because of this very reason, fkkit) - so if it isn't for anything else, just the convenience of e.g. Spotify is worth the money.. but DRM, uff..

On my old MacBook there was a tool that was able to capture Spotify in realtime including the ID tags, cover art etc.. but this was, of course, illegal again (at least by the TOS)

(I know it's an old argument, but when I invest several hundreds in a piece of tech, then I want to have the ability to gain full access over it, without loosing functionality or other kind of penalty.)

--

Workarounds for Google Play DRM?
Welcome to iOS Land :/

Edited 2017-05-19 15:21 UTC
Permalink - Score: 1

Read Comments 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-30 -- 31-37

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