How To Install Netflix On Most Android Devices

Netflix previously all but ignored Android, leaving users confused and annoyed by the lack of love. All that changed yesterday when the app dropped on the Nexus S and several HTC devices. But that’s the catch. Only a select few devices currently support the streaming service, so the fun is only for those rocking the HTC Incredible, HTC Nexus One, HTC Evo 4G, HTC G2, and Samsung Nexus S — unless you’re comfortable following a few lines of instructions!

First off, back up your device. This could brick your device. Please do not proceed if that scares you. Also, your phone must be rooted. Check out the xda-dev wiki for rooting instructions for nearly every Android device. The following process is sort of hit or miss right now. Among other phones, it reportedly doesn’t work on the HTC Thunderbolt for some reason but it’s worth trying if you must have Netflix up and running on your Android device before the complete rollout.

Got your device rooted now? Good. Let’s begin.

1) Go to Settings > Applications > Check the box next to Unknown sources to allow your phone to install the downloaded Netflix app.

2) Download the Netflix apk from here (Download link has been pulled. Sorry folks, you’re gonna have to Google it.) We’re going to try to install it without any line coding first as it seems to install fine depending on custom ROMs. Email this link to yourself and then download it from the device itself. (or download it on your PC, transfer to your microSD card and install from there) Once it’s downloaded, click the Completed Download notification and then install the app. Did it work? If so, enjoy. If not, continue to step 3.

3) Download ES File Explorer

4) In ES File Explorer go to Settings > Root Settings and check both boxes on that screen

5) Go to /system/ and copy/paste build.prop to /sdcard/ as a backup

6) Go back to /system/ and open and edit the file build.prop

7) Trick the Android install to thinking you have the Nexus S by changing the follow lines:

  • ro.product.model=Nexus S
  • ro.product.manufacturer=samsung

8) Reboot the phone

9) Download and install the Netflix apk from here if you haven’t already

10) Profit!

I totally apologize if this doesn’t work on your Android device. Some users can’t get it to work no matter what so YMMV. Of course you could always wait until the Netflix app officially hits all Android devices. That’s bound to happen eventually. At least I hope. See this Reddit thread for more troubleshooting.