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Google Play may start blocking root users from accessing certain apps

Posted: , by Milen Y.

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Google Play may start blocking root users from accessing certain apps

The latest update for Netflix, which rolled out on Google Play a few days ago, raised a few eyebrows in the Android community by preventing users with rooted/unlocked devices to download the app from Google's official storefront. The app itself still works on rooted devices, it's just shows up as "incopmatible" 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. Slashgear reports that some of the criteria for blocking access from Google Play include "devices that fail integrity tests or those that are uncertified by Google," which basically excludes rooted devices and custom Android ROMs.

Modding enthusiasts may be pleased to hear that 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.

Although these changes to the platform are sure to annoy some people, they are being made with security improvements in mind. Unfortunately, they may also negatively affect Android OEMs who are not using Google's certification.

sources: Google (1), (2) via Slashgear

17 Comments
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posted on 19 May 2017, 06:07 4

1. Nopers (Posts: 396; Member since: 01 Jun 2015)


"Android users get so much more freedom when you root."

posted on 19 May 2017, 06:45 10

3. submar (Posts: 535; Member since: 19 Sep 2014)


still true tho

posted on 19 May 2017, 06:50

4. zacsaturday (Posts: 234; Member since: 09 May 2014)


Yep, well guess I'm going to Amazon for my apps

posted on 19 May 2017, 07:00 8

6. vincelongman (Posts: 4952; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Yep
People will just switch from SuperSU to Magisk for root
Or just use apkmirror

posted on 19 May 2017, 07:23 2

7. ishaqthkr (Posts: 56; Member since: 26 Mar 2015)


Dozens of 3rd party stores out there

posted on 19 May 2017, 08:08 3

8. funtikar (Posts: 24; Member since: 05 May 2012)


week bro... theres Magisk and you can just sideload apps

posted on 19 May 2017, 08:58 3

12. CristoLagos (Posts: 5; Member since: 16 Oct 2014)


I'm using Magisk root, and I can still see the Netflix app because I'm using Magisk hide. So not much of a problem really.

posted on 19 May 2017, 06:09 2

2. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 3342; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


It also excludes phones with an unlocked bootloader. Which doesn't mean rooted nor a custom ROM. Magisk can hide all of the above (so far) and pass Google's safety net checks.

posted on 19 May 2017, 06:50

5. zacsaturday (Posts: 234; Member since: 09 May 2014)


I think they meant phones that were manually unlocked

posted on 19 May 2017, 08:14

9. brasstax (Posts: 354; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


Oh dear... this is already happening. Now I know why I got this same incompatible with device error message this morning when wiped my device and reinstalled Touchwiz Lollipop 5.1.1 on my Note 10.1 2014 Edition.

posted on 19 May 2017, 08:16

10. brasstax (Posts: 354; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


I was trying to install whatsapp and got this error message on Google Play Store. I had to sideload the apk.

posted on 19 May 2017, 08:17

11. brasstax (Posts: 354; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


Of course I am rooted with a custom twrp recovery.

posted on 19 May 2017, 11:53 1

13. obedchuni (Posts: 215; Member since: 16 Jun 2014)


F u google

posted on 20 May 2017, 01:23 1

14. gotoAndDie (Posts: 45; Member since: 13 Jun 2015)


It was supposed to stop people from downloading apps that don't work if you trip SafetyNet, like Pokémon Go, so you don't end up downloading an app that does absolutely nothing. Netflix, meanwhile, decided that this feature is sufficient as a safety measure against screen recording, even though every root user knows how to sideload apps, thus creating this whole debate,

posted on 20 May 2017, 23:42

16. funtikar (Posts: 24; Member since: 05 May 2012)


hahah ikr its stupid

posted on 20 May 2017, 01:57 1

15. Krjal (Posts: 267; Member since: 19 Dec 2013)


Google wants to inconvenience its users and increase piracy? Because that's how you do it.

posted on 20 May 2017, 23:43

17. funtikar (Posts: 24; Member since: 05 May 2012)


haha win

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