This is the Netflix hack the world has been waiting for


Because Netflix doesn’t own the global licensing rights to all of the movies and TV shows it carries, a good deal of its programming remains completely unavailable to subscribers outside of certain geographic regions. Indeed, one of the reasons why Netflix is so intent on developing its own original programming is precisely because they don’t have to deal with thorny licensing issues.

Now if you find yourself in the frustrating position of wanting to watch something on Netflix that is otherwise geographically restricted, there’s a new desktop app that can help turn that dream into a reality.

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This post was originally published on January 6th, and has been updated to reflect changes to Smartflix

Smartflix is an impressively sleek app for both OS X and Windows which offers users a clean and simple interface composed of any and every Netflix video available, regional restrictions be damned. In fact, Smartflix even works in countries where Netflix isn’t even available yet.

While we usually hear about Netflix viewers in Europe being unable to watch certain programs, there’s an equally sizable reservoir of content which can only be accessed outside of the United States, with TV shows like Fargo and movies like Whiplash and Gone Girl being three prime examples.

Now before we show you what Smartflix is all about, we should make a point of noting that you should use this at your own risk as the app does run afoul of Netflix’s TOS. And while we sincerely doubt Netflix would ban individual accounts, a warning is nonetheless warranted.

For users interesting in checking it out, Smatflix offers a free 7-day trial after which the price rises to just $3.99 per month. An annual subscription, meanwhile, can be had for $39.90.

With all of the fine print out of the way, let’s dive in and take a look at why Smartflix is especially intriguing.

Once you download and install the app, you’ll be prompted to enter your Netflix credentials. Following that, simply fire up the app whereupon you’ll see a pretty straight forward user interface that has a similar look and feel to Netflix’s official site. But as you’ll soon see, the Smartflix UI is actually superior to what Netflix offers in a number of ways.

smartflix

The magic of Smartflix becomes readily apparent when you start searching for otherwise restricted content. As a test, I searched for AMC’s Better Call Saul via Netflix’s website. As is evident below, the title is not currently available for streaming in the U.S.


netflix better call saul

It is however available in the U.K., and by extension, to Smartflix users.

smartflix better call saul

What’s more, the Smartflix UI is actually much more user-friendly than the official Netflix site. With Smartflix, it’s incredibly easy to switch back and forth between TV shows and movies while seamlessly searching across any number of genres.

Even better, Smartflix has a section called “Expiring Soon” where users can browse through titles that aren’t long for the world of Netflix. It’s such an obvious and helpful design tweak, it’s a wonder why Netflix hasn’t implemented something similar on its own.

smartflix expiring soon

As another nice touch, if you hover over any particular title, you’re presented with corresponding Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB rankings, not to mention a brief summary of the targeted program. This makes drilling down through Netflix’s immense library a much more pleasant and less overwhelming experience. Again, it’s a wonder why Netflix hasn’t incorporated similar functionality on its own site.

smartflix descriptions

As for how it works, the app description reads: “Smartflix is a simple application that combines an index of Netflix content available worldwide, an optimized proxy service and a chromeless web browser that embeds the Netflix web player.”

As a final point, we should note that some users raised security issues surrounding the Smartflix app on a Reddit thread, but as Extreamist points out,  “the app’s creator took the time to answer questions and speak directly to these concerns.”

That being said, if you use your Netflix credentials (username and password combo) for other sites online, it would probably be wise to avoid Smartflix.



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Your iPhone could look so much better than it does right now


My iPhone looks so much better than yours. Sure the hardware is the same and so is the software, for the most part. But instead of using a photo of a cat or even Apple’s stock images, I put a little time and effort into the wallpapers I use on my handset. As a result, my phone looks far more sleek than most, and I’m reminded of that every time BGR publishes a post with a photo of my iPhone at the top because so many people email me asking for my wallpaper.

So beginning earlier this month, I began posting every once in a while when I come across a solid new set of wallpapers in an effort to help readers keep their phones looking as sharp as possible.

DON’T MISS: How I added microSD support to my iPhone 6s

The last set of iPhone (and Android) wallpapers I posted had about 300 different images in it, and they were all completely free. If you missed that post, you can check it out and see a bunch of samples from the set right here. I received so much positive feedback after that article that I decided to make sure I share new sets with readers each time I come across well-designed wallpapers that are suited to the iPhone.

Samuel Zeller is a designer based in Geneva, Switzerland, and he’s also something of an amateur photographer. He has a great eye, clearly, and he decided to transform some of his best original shots into iPhone wallpapers. Best of all, he posted them all on his website so that anyone and everyone can download them for free. Also of note, he created matching Apple Watch wallpapers for each one so that users with a Watch can keep their devices in sync, if they so choose.

You’ll find a few examples of the Zeller’s wallpapers below, and they can all be downloaded for free from his website.


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Dwayne Johnson's Spy Thriller THE JANSON DIRECTIVE Will Launch a Robert Ludlum Cinamatic Universe



Dwayne Johnson definitely keeps himself busy making movies. They guy is filling up his schedule with a ton of film projects, and he just added a whole new franchise on his list of movies to make.

He has teamed up with Universal Pictures and screenwriter James Vanderbilt (Zodiac, Spider-Man 2) to develop a cinematic universe built around Robert Ludlum‘s spy novels, and it will start with The Janson Directive, which Johnson is set to star in. Some of the other books that will be included in the franchise include The Parsifal Mosaic, The Sigma Protocol, and Covert One. All of these will take place in the same cinematic universe. 

If you’re not familiar with The Janson Directive, here’s an official description of the book:

When billionaire philanthropist Peter Novak is kidnapped by a terrorist known as The Caliph, it’s up to Paul Janson — a legend in the notorious U.S. covert agency Consular Operations — to save him. But Janson’s rescue operation goes horribly wrong…and soon Janson is marked for death, the target of a “beyond salvage” order issued from the highest level of the government. Now Janson is running for his life, pursued by Jessica Kincaid, a young agent of astonishing ability who can anticipate and counter his every move. To survive, Janson must outrace a conspiracy that has gone beyond the control of its originators. To win, he must counter it with a conspiracy of his own…

Johnson will be taking on the lead role in the film. The guy seems to put everything he has into the movies he makes. He’s just so damn passionate about the projects he takes on, and I love that about him. Talking about the project and the character he’ll be playing, the actor said:

The Janson Directive is classic Robert Ludlum. Sharp, edgy and layered storylines. The character is complex, conflicted, bad ass and lethal — I can’t wait to sink my teeth into this and bring him to life. Between Jamie, Akiva, Captivate and Universal, it’s an exciting time to help produce and build out this awesome Ludlum universe.”


Vanderbilt is adapting The Janson Directive from a story that was co-authored with Academy Award-winner Akiva Goldsman. Vanderbilt offered up the following statement:

“I’ve been obsessed with Robert Ludlum ever since I was a kid, and the opportunity to play in this sandbox and create an interconnected universe based on the works of one of the best espionage writers of all time is a dream come true.”

Vanderbilt will co-write two more treatments for movies based on a couple of other Ludlum novels. We don’t know if they’ll include any of the three other titles mentioned, though. We also don’t know the level of involvement Johnson will have in these other projects. They will help shape the cinematic universe and other writers will be brought in to adapt these film treatments into screenplays.

I love intense, action-packed spy thrillers, and this could end up being an incredibly fun film franchise. Are you excited to hear that we will be getting a Robert Ludlum cinematic universe?

Source: THR 



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Watch the crazy first four minutes of AMC’s ‘Preacher’


There are plenty of worthwhile shows airing this summer, but Preacher is one you might want to keep an eye on. Based on the comics by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, Preacher follows a reformed criminal trying to get his life back on track by returning to his home town and taking over as preacher for his late father’s congregation.

SEE ALSO: ‘Prison Break’ season 5 trailer has been released

We had some high praise for the AMC original series in our review of the first four episodes. The action is brutal, the characters are interesting, the acting is stellar and, although the pace is slow, the show hooks you early on.

To that last point, AMC shared the first four minutes of the pilot episode on YouTube yesterday, featuring an incredibly confusing opening sequence and a short introduction to Jesse Custer, the titular Preacher:


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