Rooted smartphone users can be blocked from accessing apps from Google Play

- Adrian Ungureanu

After Netflix rolled out is latest update for its app on Google Play more users with rooted/unlocked devices seem to be unable to download the app from Google’s official store.

The app itself still works on rooted devices, it’s just shows up as “incompatible” on Google Play, with the updated changelog stating that: “version 5.0 only works with devices that are certified by Google and meet all Android requirements.”

Bad news is that recent changes made to the Google Play developer console indicate that more apps may join the ranks of Netflix in the future. The newly added “Device catalog” section allows developers to choose whether their apps should be accessible to root users directly from Google Play.

These restrictions won’t necessarily prevent apps from working on their devices, they just won’t have access to the apps from Google Play. APKs sideloaded from other sources will still work.

Unfortunately, they may also negatively affect Android OEMs who are not using Google’s certification.