Official RedBox Instant app sneaks into the Play Store; rooted users need not apply

We’ve been hearing a lot about Redbox Instant as of late. It has been rumored to be a collaboration between Redbox and Verizon, a natural marriage considering the “red” nature of both companies. A competitor to the likes of Netflix, Redbox Instant will allow you to access a nice collection of movies instantly via streaming. It’s a paid monthly service that Redbox seems to claim will provide more value than Netflix, and checking it out for the first month will cost you no more than the time and bandwidth it takes to download.

One problem is that the app doesn’t seem to be working for rooted devices. Since the error message rooted users receive is a generic error code we can’t tell if Verizon and Redbox meant to implement this restriction, but as it stands Redbox is enjoying an unhealthy dosage of one-star reviews in the Play Store due to the restriction.

The Redbox instant app goes beyond the streaming aspect of it as it has incorporated mobile Redbox reservation features. You can reserve movies at your local box to ensure the movies will be there before you drive out to pick it up. The free month you get will also net your 4 DVD credits so you can check out the physical Redbox service in full.

Other features of the app include the ability to buy and rent titles to watch on your devices, so if there’s one specific movie you want to see without being tied to a subscription option then that certainly is an option. We imagine the selection for buying and renting will be a lot deeper than the selection offered to you through the monthly streaming subscription so that’s one reason why you’d want to go that route for a movie night.

Strangely enough the app is available to non Verizon devices despite Verizon putting its stamp all over it. We’re not sure if this is an early mix-up (without an official announcement they probably didn’t expect it to matter) but let’s hope this isn’t an exclusive for Verizon customers — we would hate for anyone to be left out of the fun. Go ahead and take a look for yourself in the Google Play Store.

[Note]: As noted in the comments section, you’ll probably need an invitation code to use this app. You can grab one of those from this link. Also, users who are rooted can try disabling the superuser option in the latest superuser app in order to get the app to work. Disabling it when you want to use Redbox Instant and re-enabling it afterward should be a solid course of action for you without having to fully unroot your device. Similar options may exist in other root management apps so be sure to look through them and see if you can do the same.

[Thanks Thomas, Paul and David!]

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  • David Narada Brown

    oh well! I’m rooted so i’ll stick to netflix.

  • Lesser Version

    Voodoo root keeper work??

    • borgib

      I would think it does, but I don’t have an invite to give it a try.

  • Montisaquadeis

    Not suprised it doesnt work with rooted devices considering that verizon wants all their phones locked down tight. Considering their locked bootloader record.

  • Lennatron

    I’m all about supporting developers but I’m glad to see its getting so many one star reviews. If Netflix runs on rooted devices, so should this. Its just another example of Verizon ruining everything they touch.

  • Thomas

    Where do you get the invitation code it is asking for ?

    • David Lutz

      You’re supposed to go here

      https://www.redboxinstant.com/rbgatekeeper/

      It asks for an email address. So far I’ve received a confirmation email, but no access code. Waiting patiently…

      • Thomas

        Thanks. Didn’t see that in this article.
        ADDED : Article was just updated w/ link.

    • http://www.phandroid.com Quentyn Kennemer

      Sorry, didn’t realize it needed an invitation code (I’m rooted on all fronts so I couldn’t check it out for myself). I’ll update the article accordingly.

      • David Lutz

        Well, 3 hours later and I’ve received two emails from them, neither with the needed invitation code.The second email mentions to “Be on the lookout for for exciting news, updates and your special invitation in the WEEKS AHEAD!” (emphasis mine). So I guess we’re just supposed to sit back and wait for RedBox to deem us worthy….

  • Paul

    A very easy work around if you are using SuperSU for root is to go into settings and uncheck Enable Superuser. Then the app will work just fine. When you are done with the app just Enable Superuser. Not sure if you are using the superuser app for root but if it has a similar option it should work.

    • http://www.phandroid.com Quentyn Kennemer

      Thanks for the tip. I’ll add a note about that in an update.

    • David Cramblett

      I can confirm temp unroot worked in superuser. Unfortunately the invitation site seems to be broken at the moment – ajax errors in the console.

  • dhinged

    Asks me for an invitation code… where do I get that?

  • http://n/a brad

    I signed up for this invitation code awhile ago when news of this surfaced since then I have only got the confirmation email and nothing since…I as well downloaded the app just now but no good without invite code !!!! :-( :-(

  • EasyEEE

    Any word on list of titles available? Apps for game consoles?

  • EasyEEE

    I should read press releases more heh

    ” At launch, Redbox Instant by Verizon will be offered via the web, as well as through home entertainment, tablet and mobile devices, including iOS®, Android™, Samsung® Blu-ray Players and TVs with SmartHub™, LG Smart TV and Blu-ray Players, and Google TV. More devices will be announced in the coming months.”

  • DarrenR

    Are the rentals still going to be around $1? I would rent much more digital media if it wasnt so stupidly expensive.

    • NIGHTSCOUT

      Don’t you remember paying $4.87 for DVD rentals at Blockbuster? Not to mention, there were not as many Blockbusters around as much as Redbox kiosks….

      • Qwerty

        So what? Blockbuster had overhead for their stores. Plus, the format VHS was much more expensive. The price 20 years ago is irrelevant. Blockbuster tried to import the price to DVD. Their inability to lower priced and adapt to a changing market is exactly why they failed.

  • Scott Tilney

    It’s RedBox with Verizon, not Redbox with verizonwireless.com. Verizon and verizonwireless.com are practically two separate companies. It will be availbe on all carriers because it really has nothing to do with verizonwireless.com.

    • NIGHTSCOUT

      Vz and VzW are one in the same. But yes, you will be able to use this service will all carriers.

  • HotInEER

    I registered, but, have yet to receive my invite code. As far as those who are rooted, just go under your SuperSU into the settings and uncheck enable superuser. Then use the app, then when your done, you go back in and check it. Easy fix. Will probably be a few weeks b4 they start handing codes out though.

  • http://www.gearsoftech.com/ Edward Marquez

    I’m excited. I have the app ready to go on my iPad. All that’s missing is that beta code to arrive in my email. I hope I’m not too far along in the waiting list.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennylynnfrazier Bo L Boazy

    I am in. But the only free thing is all the low budget horror I can get on the chiller channel. Everything else they want to charge $4.99 to watch. I can get it on pay per view cable for $3.99. I will stick with netflix

  • bblande

    The movie selection looks pretty redundant to Netflix and Amazon Prime’s selection.

  • Scotsman of Loch Ness

    it’d be nice is there was a pay by viewing option for those that aren’t going to watch 8+ movies a month.

  • http://twitter.com/gorkon Joel McLaughlin

    Note: I am not rooted but my bootloader is unlocked. So it’s crap.

  • NightAngel79

    Says my yahoo email isn’t valid