Hate how Hulu blocks users from getting free content from mobile devices? You can force Adobe Flash onto your device and enable “desktop” mode, but it still won’t help you. Fortunately a hack exists, originating from XDA-Developers.com that solves this problem. In theory, it should work on any Android device with root access. In reality, it works on many, but not all devices.
Want to get started? Just gather a few simple applications, root access and a bit of time:
- Script Manager app;
- An Android device;
- Root access: If you don’t know what root is, here’s a quick discussion on how root works;
- 5-10 minutes;
- Adobe Flash Player, which you can install on Jelly Bean.
- File manager app with root access, such as Ghost Commander or Root Browser: I prefer using Ghost Commander’s dual-pane feature to manipulate files in Android, however it’s easier for beginners to use Root Browser;
- A web browser capable of running in “desktop” mode: Most browsers have this functionality, but the feature must be enabled in settings. It’s also slightly different for every browser. I recommend using Naked Browser, which supports Flash Player. However, the Android stock browser and Firefox all work equally well for playing Hulu.
The process appears complex but in truth requires little effort. If your device is not already capable of it, enabling root access is about 90% of the work involved. The other steps in this process require about five to ten minutes. After you’ve acquired the above items, move on to installing the software.
However, keep in mind that not all devices are compatible with the script. Most are though.
How the Script Works
XDA developer NoSudo‘s Flashex works by tricking Hulu into thinking you’re not using a mobile device. This bypasses Flash Player’s built in roadblocks to free mobile access. The lynchpin file in Hulu’s security arrangement is libflashplayer.so.
After running, Flashex replaces the stock version of libflashplayer.so with a modified one. When Hulu tries to check if the system is legitimate, it reads this file. The process is virtually undetectable.
There’s several ways to run the Hulu-enabling script. The official instructions use some additional steps that I’m going to do away with. Instead, we’re going to try the fastest and easiest method.
Installation doesn’t require more than five or ten minutes. Getting started is easy:
- Install BusyBox Installer, run it and download and install BusyBox 1.2 (not the latest version).
- Download the Flashex zipped file. As of the time of writing, the latest version is 205.
- Unzip the Flashex file.
- Transfer the first folder inside the unzipped folder to your Android device, either through sideloading, or through an SD card. You must remember where you stored the folder.
- If you don’t have an SD card, you will likely still have a directory named “SD card”, which will work as well.
- Fire up your Android device and turn on Script Manager, which can run scripts.
- Using Script Manager, locate the Flashex folder on the SD card and navigate to Flashex205.sh (or whatever version number you have).
- Select Flashex205.sh and turn on the Superuser option and the boot option.
- After this, Flashex will run at boot, every time.
- When you want to watch Hulu, navigate to the Hulu page, enable “Desktop Mode” from within your browser. You may need to reload. After that, the site should work.
I had a great deal of difficulty getting the Flashex script installed correctly. This is because the script doesn’t work with many unusual file system structures. For example, the Nexus 4 uses a great deal of symbolic links, also known as “symlinks” – consequently, when the script looks for libflashplayer.so, it can’t find it – therefore, it fails.
Another issue is that you must have BusyBox 1.20, and not any other version. If you fail to install 1.20, this will not work for you.
If you have Hulu+ and want to install the official client on an unsupported device, you’re also in luck. Another, completely unrelated, developer created a version of the Hulu+ app that will run on almost any device. For the curious, you can check out the original XDA thread.
Here’s the direct download link.
For those of you who want to keep getting free Hulu content on their mobile device, try Flashex. While my devices were not compatible, the script is neither dangerous nor hard to install. If it works, you get free content on your tablet or phone. If it fails, you can always try another app or method, like actually paying for content.
Anyone else having issues getting free Hulu videos on their Android device? Let us know in the comments.