/e/ OS and Netflix

Hello all,

hope this is the right part of the forum.

What is the current situation using Netflix on an /e/ OS device? I remember, that it was not self-evident, that the Netflix app worked on an /e/ OS device.
A friend of mine bought an Samsung Galaxy 8 with /e/ OS preinstalled from the /e/-shop one or two years ago and sent it back because it was not possible to run the Netflix app on it.
Other users told, that they had no problems with the app on other devices.

So, does it still depend on which device you have or doesn’t it matter in the meantime?

A friend of mine would like to buy an /e/ OS preinstalled device but just in case, that Netflix works properly.

Sunny Bearcliff

Regain your privacy! Adopt /e/ the unGoogled mobile OS and online servicesphone

The problem is that Netflix is not interested to make its app work on microG (/e/'s substitue for Google play services). While they spend a lot on ensuring the best user experience for Google play service users, they do not really care about microG at all.
As a result, Netflix might work at some times but it also might fail and then, likely, fixing this will be no ones top priority.

So if a working Netflix App is a top priority criterion, /e/ is not the right OS for you.

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Good morning Ijahn,

thank you for your statement. This sounds really bad. I have here a very old LG G4 running /e/ OS and Netflix working without any problems.

So, you think it’s all because of Netflix is not willing to support microG? There’s no way for the community to find a stable solution?

Has anyone other experiences?

Sunny Bearcliff

Sorry if I sounded to pessimistic. Netflix might as well work for years on /e/.
The list of apps working with microG https://community.e.foundation/t/list-apps-that-work-or-do-not-work-with-microg/2115 currently reads it works, but only if microG is disabled. This might be an older statement, I cannot judge because I do not use the app.
I just wanted to point you right to the big problem that it might fail at any point without a quick fix coming, because your question sounded like the possibility of Netflix not working at any time would be an exclusion criterion.

Yeah, that’s weird…just took a Oneplus 6 with LineageOS 18.1, installed Aurora store, installed the Netflix app and…it worked.
How could that be? There are no Google services on the device.

Netflix decided that it really wanted to use Google’s little helpers more than it wanted to be open to everyone.

It is a dynamic which might change from time to time. @ljahn was correct to point this out as you had indicated that your friend might expect it to “just work”.

So, does it still depend on which device you have […] ?

it is device specific as decrypting drm protected content is implemented differently per device. Depending on distributor content is also encrypted differently, as in: to get 4K resolution video, you’ll need hardware assistance in decrypting, that might be only attainable (signed code… etc) with the vendor rom. My impression - most drm decryption has a fallback mode that can be done in software and my experience with those are positive.

Your friends S8: that one has a workaround that will stop trying the hw-assisted decrypt and force the less-assured but working software decrypt, see S8: Onleihe App Audiobooks do not work. Widevine is the same software that browsers use to decrypt and stream Netflix drm.

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OK, so, there seems to be no reliable solution with /e/ OS and Netflix. I bet, that this is the case for all other custom roms like GrapheneOS, CalyxOS, LineageOS etc. It’s not in our hands…

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In the last year I used Netflix on two tablets on different /e/ builds almost daily and not once did I face a problem.
Those tablets are used for media consumption only and always worked with Netflix, Plex and Newpipe (opensource Youtube frontend).

Sure this can change in the future, but that could be said for most proprietary apps.

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