Google’s movie app has racked up between 10 to 50 million downloads since launch, going by its Google Play stats. In that time, it’s recorded almost 10,000 reviews, with the average being two-and-a-half out of five stars. But this doesn’t tell the true story — the review breakdown shows a clear divide, with most users either giving the app five stars or one star.
Reading even a small number of the negative reviews quickly reveals the source of anger: The app fails to work on rooted devices. The low scores out-weight the high by a 2:1 ratio, which — potentially — speaks volumes regarding the number of users out their with rooted phones.
It’s been pointed out on Ausdroid that Google’s move to disable the app on rooted phones probably isn’t driven by spite or malice — it may be trying to prove a point to publishers that it can protect their content within its software and hardware ecosystem.
Naturally, Google is going to do what it can to curtail piracy; denying rooted phone owners the ability to use the app seems an easy decision from a business perspective. On the other hand, labelling all rooters as potential pirates can’t help but rub you the wrong way.