Back to Android and Netflix.
I should really update with a new post because Netflix has released an app for Android while I was vacationing in The Great Smokey Mountains. The app only works on a few handsets: HTC Nexus One, Samsung Nexus S, HTC T-Mobile G2, the original HTC Evo 4G and the HTC Incredible. Still it defies my conclusion which I had based on a much earlier Netflix blog post with regards to hardware DRM support.
Why These Handsets?
Incredible and Evo
The HTC Incredible and the HTC Evo 4G were the flagship handsets of Verizon and Sprint respectively, both of those sold really well. (So did the Motorola Droid but I suspect hardware is limiting there).
Nexus S and Nexus One
Obviously the Nexus line should never have any software limitations, only hardware, and so if Netflix is able to release the app on HTC Evo 4G and HTC Incredible without relying on any hardware DRM it should definitely be released on the Nexus Google flagship handsets as well.
HTC T-Mobile G2
Then there is the HTC T-Mobile G2, which runs pretty much a stock Android phone (something I’ve touted as a big deal in the past) which probably made it easier for Netflix to release it on that phone (as they did for the Nexus line).
This is good news for those LG handsets that run stock-like Android (and have hardware roughly equivalent to the aforementioned phones, if not superior).
Be Open About It, Netflix
Netflix apparently needs to work on each handset individually (per that blog post in the beginning) so progress will be slow. Frustratingly they are not very open about what DRM scheme they are using or why they need to work with each handset on a case-by-case basis. It is also strange that the app was not released for the Motorola Xoom flagship tablet running Honeycomb. However with 3.1 announced at the recent Google I/O perhaps Netflix is writing for the updated version.
Google I/O 2011
Speaking of which, I hope to have a post soon about the very, very exciting ideas and plans presented at Google I/O this year.