Much-loved media centre software XBMC has been gaining traction in its move away from the desktop space towards smaller, personal devices. Their Raspberry Pi release had thousands of installs since its release, and their first Android version was released in preview form earlier this year. Now, the Android version is available on stable release with a new “end user friendly” interface.
Previous builds of XBMC on Android had used the same “skin” (XBMC’s term for its customisable user interfaces) as the desktop versions, designed to be operated with a remote control and only featuring small hit zones – a big no-no in touch-friendly design. With the release of their first “end user friendly” mobile interface, XBMC are hoping to “bring XBMC to a whole new mainstream level”, a lofty goal when you’re entering an already well saturated market featuring the likes of Apple TV, Windows Media Center and Mythbuntu along with an array of OEM manufactured streaming devices.
The app isn’t ready for a general Google Play release yet, but there’s a simple set of instructions to follow to install XBMC on your Android device – you’ll just have to sideload the APK files through a direct download link.
- Install MX Player from the Google Play store
- Launch and exit MX Player on your device at least once before continuing
- Download and install the XAF Custom Build of XBMC (available at the source link) to your device
- Once installed, you can launch XBMC – on first run it’ll download some updates
For full instructions, see the source link.
From my experience so far, XBMC for Android is a clean and simple interface – users will appreciate the wide array of video formats it can decode.
**UPDATE** We have received correspondence from the XBMC team to state that the software referenced in the article is not supplied by XBMC nor supported by XBMC.
What video player, media center or streaming software do you use? Let us know in the comments below