Amazon Blocking Jailbroken iPads From Using Instant Video App

Amazon Blocking Jailbroken iPads From Using Instant Video App

Device discrimination!

Amazon released its Instant Video iPad app yesterday. The app allows Amazon Prime members to stream and download movies and TV shows on the iPad over a WiFi connection.

If your iPad is jailbroken, you won’t be able to watch anything in the Amazon Instant Video app. This isn’t the first time a content provider has blocked access to jailbreakers, but it’s certainly still disappointing.

Originally noticed by The Verge, it looks like Amazon is blocking all playback access to users on iPads running Cydia, the jailbreak version of the App Store. I’ve also been able to confirm that the app does not work on my jailbroken third-gen iPad. You can browse Amazon’s catalog, but it’s impossible to actually watch anything.

This is what Amazon had to tell The Verge reader who noticed this behavior:

I’m sorry that the Amazon Instant Video service isn’t yet working on your iPad.

The service is absolutely available to you. What we’re finding is that this specific error is popping up for folks whose iPads have any kind of jailbreak installed. A jailbreak is a program installed on your device that lets you do stuff not necessarily supported by the manufacturer. For example, if Apple blocks access to fictional service provider Orange you can add a thing that gets around that block.

If you do not believe their device to be jailbroken, please see if you have any of the following apps installed on your iPad:

  • “APT”
  • “Cydia”
  • “Installer” (“Installer App” is okay, but just “Installer” is another version of the first, “APT”.)

The presence of any of these indicates a jailbreak, and our service won’t work. From the error message that you provided, it appears your device has been jail-broken. We are unable to provide any troubleshooting for your device.

You will need to contact the site or person where you received the jail-break for your device.

It’s unclear if this is just a technical error that will be fixed with a future update, or if blocking jailbreakers was a deliberate decision on Amazon’s part.┬áThe DRM that companies like HBO put in their apps can tend to freeze up on a jailbroken version of iOS. Hopefully this issue with Instant Video will be resolved shortly.

  • Tim Griskus

    Download Jailbreak tweak xCon this fixes this problem. Works with Cox Live TV as well.

  • technochick

    Apple isn’t required to fix it and I’ll be the same holds true for Amazon under the terms folks sign with they buy Prime, or will be shortly.

  • MacHead84

    Ofcourse its a deliberate move by Amazon….they dont want 500,000 16 year olds pirating every show they stream with some lame tweak.

  • Joe Streno

    Well at least I now know why that was happening .. and the fix! Thanks!

  • Lane Jasper

    Download Jailbreak tweak xCon this fixes this problem. Works with Cox Live TV as well.

    This still require an account though yes?

    Thanks! xCon is great!

  • Jamal El Jamal

    What a wast of time for Amazon. Just advise those with jailbroken devices there may be a freeze while viewing.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a staff writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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