Netflix is the first big name on Google Play to block Android devices that are rooted or have an unlocked bootloader from downloading its app. And it looks like it may not be the last, as now Google is officially giving all developers the option to do the same.
Developers on Google Play can enforce support exclusions based on a device's SafetyNet status, which is also what Netflix has used to restrict access. Out of the box, rooted devices or devices with an unlocked bootloader are supported, but developers have two options that they can choose to change that.
While rooting Android does not make it necessarily less secure, some software makers would rather you keep your device stock. Why? Well, because when you gain elevated privileges, which is what rooting enables, you might cause some issues or do some things that run afoul of their rules.
Netflix now seems to have a problem with Android devices that have been rooted and/or have an unlocked bootloader, as it just dropped support for those devices on Google Play.
Mobile users frequently stray from official app stores when looking for new mobile applications, putting themselves under increased risk from malware, ransomware and other malicious actors. This is according to a new report by RiskIQ, which says that users in the UK are a bit more "conservative," and a bit more on the safe side compared to mobile users in the US.
The report, entitled "Appsession: Is our appetite for mobile apps putting us at risk?" is based on a poll of 2,000 mobile users -- 1,000 in the UK and another 1,000 in the US.
When Nintendo launched the NES Classic Edition there was much rejoicing from gamers of certain ages. But while 30 and 40-somethings may have been looking forward to reliving their youth playing classic games, there was some bad news -- the bundled 30 games were all you could play.
Nintendo saying that there was no way to add new games to the console was seen by some as a challenge. Now hackers have found a way to upload new games to the NES Classic via USB... but it's not a super-simple process.
Answering the pleas of many Android users, Google has finally made ADB and Fastboot available as separate downloads.
Previously only available as part of the large and intimidating Android SDK or Android Studio, the change of heart means that it is now quicker and easier than ever to jump on the handset flashing and sideloading bandwagon.
Rooting Android remains very popular with a certain crowd of users, but fact of the matter is for most folks it is an unnecessary hassle. I have gone through the pros and cons of hacking the operating system in previous articles, so I will not discuss them again here, but suffice to say that both the software and the hardware have matured so nicely that the vast majority of people can be perfectly happy with their new smartphone or tablet as it comes out of the box.
Google has been somewhat permissive with regards to rooting, but, behind closed doors, it has been working hard to close the open avenues. While hacking Android has become harder, Nougat will take things to the next level, bringing new security features to make sure that your device stays the way its maker intended.
As with every previous version of iOS, it had to happen -- jailbreak instructions for iOS 9 have been released. Rumors have been circulating for a little while that a group called Pangu was on the verge of releasing a jailbreak tool, and now it's available.
Pangu Jailbreak for iOS 9 cracks open iOS in next to no time, opening up the possibility of installing apps and applying tweaks that would not otherwise be possible. Whether you're rocking a new iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, or you have an iPad or older handset the whole process can be over in less than five minutes. Here's what you need to do.
After upgrading to Android 6.0 Marshmallow on your Nexus device you have likely noticed that there is still no way to change how the battery information is displayed in the status bar or choose which Quick Settings toggles are shown in the notifications panel. Google continues to be quite limiting in this regard, which is a bit puzzling considering others like Samsung allow this kind of customization. (After all, who wouldn't like to see a battery percentage instead of a bar that is hard to interpret?)
Fortunately, both of those things can be easily customized without relying on third-party apps or rooting. All you need to do is enable System UI Tuner, a control panel that is included, but hidden by default, in the latest version of Android. Here is how you can do that.
With previous versions of iOS we have had to wait a while for a jailbreak to finally come out, but for iOS 8.4 one is already available. The TaiG team has moved extremely quickly to update its tool, releasing an updated version that supports iOS 8.4 shortly after Apple made it available to the public yesterday.
While iOS has become more permissive and powerful in recent years, there are still users who find the mobile operating system to be too limiting. There are few customizations one can make without running into Apple's barriers, but that can be easily fixed through jailbreaking.
Jailbreaks are usually available awhile after Apple releases a new iOS version, and in the case of iOS 8.3 the first jailbreaking tool, made by the TaiG team of modders, just arrived. Here is what you need to know about it.
LG's Android handsets are not the best choices for enthusiasts. Bootloaders are tightly locked, so loading a different kernel or installing another distribution is next to impossible. And there is no official tool that lifts the restrictions, even if that would mean having the warranty voided. Without getting a Nexus 4 or Nexus 5, you are out of luck. Heck, even iPhones are friendlier to the modders.
Fortunately, LG is well aware of the enthusiasts' interest in its devices, so it has finally taken the first step towards embracing the community's ways by allowing G4 users to unlock the bootloader. Here is how it can be done.
Rooting is still a controversial topic among Android enthusiasts. Bring it up and be prepared to hear countless arguments for and against it. I don't fully support either side; I admit to having conflicting thoughts about it. On one hand, root opens up a world of possibilities, but, on the other hand, it's not often that one needs to take advantage of the cool things it enables.
However, we can all agree that what's most important is having the option to choose. And if you plan on getting a Samsung Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge on launch day, then you should know that rooting its Android distribution will be possible right from the start.
Galaxy Note 4 is not yet available in most markets across the globe, as Samsung has opted for a staggered launch. However, despite the limited market availability, a well-known Android modding enthusiast has already achieved root access for the phablet.
Chainfire, the developer behind dedicated modding tools like SuperSU, has announced on his Google+ page that a number of Galaxy Note 4 models, based on Samsung's own Exynos chip as well as Qualcomm's Snapdragon 805 processor, are now supported by CF-Auto-Root. The software has been designed to automatically enable root access on Android devices.
Unlocking the bootloader is not a task most Android users may want or need to undertake, as it comes with its fair share of risks, but it is paramount for those who want to install a different distribution, load a faster kernel, use a third-party recovery and so on. I personally prefer to turn off all the nannies on every Android device I own, as it makes way for quick modifications.
While not all manufacturers allow users to unlock the bootloader on their devices, there are a couple of vendors which believe this should be possible, and straightforward. Among them is Sony, known for its modder-friendly attitude, which has just improved its dedicated online tool for Xperia smartphones and tablets. And here is how easy it is to use.
When it comes to the Android custom ROM community, CyanogenMod is considered by many to be the holy grail. If your smartphone or tablet receives official support for the ROM, you can be assured of regular updates. However, for many, the stock Android experience has now matured to a point where custom ROMs are no longer needed.
Despite this (or maybe because of this), CyanogenMod decided to monetize its ROM and form a company. To easier facilitate the process of installing it, the company released a helper app on the Play Store. Yesterday, the app was pulled from the store -- and that's a good thing.