By now I’m sure most of you know that there is a pretty sweet Netflix app out for the iPad, but currently there is no option for the iPhone. Sure, the official app is supposed to come out at the “end of the summer” (or something like that) according to Netflix, but I’m impatient and couldn’t wait. So if you’re like me and you can’t wait and you’ve got a jailbroken iPhone, here’s what you can do to get in on the fun a bit early, and yes you still need a Netflix account for this to work.
*Note: If you haven’t jailbroken your phone, simply open safari (on the phone of course) and go to www.jailbreakme.com, then slide to jailbreak… that’s it.
I can’t take credit for these instructions as they have been posted a million places by now, but I figured one more place can’t hurt. Plus I did it all last night it about 10 minutes and it works great.
- Jailbreak your phone (if you haven’t already done so) jailbreakme.com
- Open Cydia and install OpenSSH (may have to reboot your phone after it’s done, I did)
- Download the Netflix iPad app from the iTunes Store (on a computer, not your phone)
- In your iTunes Library find the Netflix app and right click (option click if you don’t have 2 buttons) and click Show in Finder (or Show in Windows Explorer if you’re on a PC)
- Rename the Netflix 1.0.4.ipa to Netflix 1.0.4.zip, then extract the zip file.
- Open the folder that was extracted and then open the Payload folder within there, you should see Netflix.app (or just Netflix if you’re not showing extensions. There should only be 1 file in the Payload folder)
- On the computer you now need to SSH into your phone (must be on wifi). I used Cyberduck (mac ftp client), but you can use terminal or any other ftp client that supports SFTP. To get the IP address for your phone you need to open Settings>Wifi, then click the little blue arrow on the wifi you are connected to, you should then see the IP address. Plug the IP address into your ftp client (make sure you’re set to SFTP), using the username: root and the password: alpine (these are the defaults). This should get you a directory listing of your iPhone. If you can’t figure this step out, Google is your friend.
- Within the FTP client you need to browse to /private/var/stash/Applications (or /Applications will get you to the same place.) and upload the Netflix.app from the iPad app we downloaded before, into that folder.
- Now you need to change the permissions of Netflix.app to 755 recursive. Mine was already set to 755, but not recursive. This step is going to be different for each FTP client, but if you’re using a terminal client you can type: chmod -r 755 Netflx.app (if it gives you an error try typing: su root and if it prompts for a password, us alpine again, then try the “chmod” command again). We’re now done with the computer.
- On the iPhone open Cydia again and download User Agent Faker. This will allow us to trick the Netflix app to think we’re using an iPad.
- Open safari on your iPhone and browse to this article and copy the following: Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; U; CPU OS 3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/531.21.10 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.4 Mobile/7B334b Safari/531.21.10
- Go back to the home screen and open settings and find User Agent Faker, open it. Make sure it’s enabled and then click on User Agent, then custom. Press back on the top left if it didn’t go back to the main User Agent Faker screen, you should now see a place below “User Agent” where you can enter a custom string, paste that stuff we copied in step 11 into that box. And lastly click Applications at the bottom and turn safari on, then exit the app.
- Reboot Your Phone (full reboot, not respring)
- Once the phone has been rebooted open Safari and browse to Netflix.com, login to your account and find a movie you want to stream. Now when you select it, after a few seconds it will launch the Netflix app and begin streaming.
It’s not the most glamorous method, but it works and despite there being 14 steps they are pretty simple and I tried to make them as easy to understand as I could. I know I ran into some vague instructions last night when doing it myself so I wanted to make sure other people weren’t having the same issues. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and I’ll try to help if I can.
Update: For those of you that are curious as to how much data this is going to eat up I just ran a test and it looks like 5 minutes of streaming equates to about 17 megs. I believe this is one of the movies that is in HD as well, so it may be slightly less for a normal SD movie, but this should give you a rough idea of how much data you’re looking at. So for a 90 minute movie you’re looking at roughly 300 megs, so watch your data usage if you plan on using this over 3G without an unlimited plan.
Update (8/26/10): The Netflix App has been officially released in the App Store for iPhone/iPod Touch! Read More Here