Netflix for Android leaks onto Net but won't stream

A long-awaited version of Netflix for Android supposedly taken from a prototype phone is now on the Internet, but most reports say the app won't stream any content.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

A leaked version of Netflix for Android has been uncovered on the Net, but so far it doesn't seem able to actually stream any content.

Reportedly stripped off a prototype of LG's Revolution Android phone, according to Business Insider, the APK (Android package) for Netflix found its way onto the Internet this week for anyone to download.

The Revolution was spotted running Netflix at CES in January. According to Engadget and other sources, people who've actually tried the app are able to launch it and browse the various titles easily enough. They just can't watch anything. Though Android Police said it heard of one user able to watch movies on a Samsung Fascinate Android Phone, that bit of information was based just on a single tweet.

Netflix streaming has been available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch crowd since last year. A version is also available for Windows Phone 7 users.

But Android users are still waiting for the app to reach their devices. Greg Peters of Netflix product development said last November that a Netflix app for Android would be launched early this year but that it would not be available for all Android devices.

The very fragmentation of the Android platform has created challenges for Netflix in creating a mobile app. According to Peters, there's no one common way to set up security and digital rights management for all Android devices in one shot. As a result, the company has been forced to work with each individual Android device maker to build in the necessary DRM technology. That means only certain Android users will be the first in line to get Netflix, though one recent development may also help speed things up a bit.

Last month, Qualcomm announced that its new Snapdragon platform will include both the hardware and the DRM protection needed to stream content from Netflix. That won't help owners of older Android devices but should ensure that newer handsets, such as the Revolution, are capable of delivering Netflix to their users.