The Lenovo IdeaPad K1 and Lenovo ThinkPad tablet are officially the first two tablets to support Netflix Watch Instantly video streaming on Android 3.1 Honeycomb. Lenovo unveiled the new tablets early this morning, and today Netflix launched an updated version of its Android app that adds support for the two tablets, along with more than a dozen additional smartphones.
But while other tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Motorola XOOM aren’t on that list, it turns out they can run the app. You just need to install it manually, since the Netflix app won’t show up in the Android Market if you search for it on an unsupported device.
So here’s what you need to do.
First, go to the Settings menu on your Honeycomb tablet. Then click the Applications tab and make sure the box next to “Unkown sources” is checked. This will allow you to install apps that aren’t downloaded from the Android Market.
Next, grab the Netflix 1.3.apk file from MultiUpload. The easiest way to grab it is to visit that link on your device and then click one of the “download file” options.
You should see a little arrow in the stats bar on the bottom of your device. Tap that once the file is finished downloading and you’ll open the Downloads menu. Tap on the item that says com.netflix.mediaclient_246.apk and follow the instructions for installing the app.
That’s it. Now you should be able to login to Netflix with you username and password to search or browse for movies and TV shows, view your queue, and watch videos on your device. The video quality is pretty good, although I’ve only tested it over a fast WiFi connection.
When Netflix first launched an Android app the company only supported a handful of smartphones but users quickly discovered the app worked on a number of additional devices. It looks like the same thing is happening with Android tablets. I suspect Netflix will officially add support for more Honeycomb tablets soon.
Update: I’ve tested the app on two tablets so far. It works on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, but refuses to stream video on the Toshiba Thrive. Other folks are reporting success with the Motorola XOOM, but problems with the Asus Eee Pad Transformer and the Acer Iconia Tab A500.
Update 2: There’s an unofficial patch that may allow the app to work properly on the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. Apply at your own risk.
via Droid Life