Android

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Looking for information on the XBMC remote control app for Android? See Official XBMC Remote/Android.
Attention talk.png Read this page and still need help? Check out the XBMC for Android support forum.

XBMC for Android is a full port of the complete XBMC application to Google's Android operating-system. With the Android NDK (Native Development Kit for Android) XBMC runs natively under Android as a Native Activity application. The initial aim for the Android port is to get XBMC working on inexpensive Android set-top-boxes. Phones and tablets will be supported as well for those who want XBMC on-the-go.

Contents

1 Main topics

Other Android-specific wiki pages for topics, guides, and advice. For everything else, standard XBMC pages will normally apply.

2 Requirements

Attention.png NOTICE:
It is highly recommended for users to not make any purchases in anticipation of running XBMC on Android without researching the device you want to buy. If you do buy, make sure multiple people can verify that it works! If in doubt, don't buy that box!
  • Due to the nature of Android hardware it is hard to give exact requirements. The basic set of requirements include:
    • NEON compatible ARM processor (for example: Nvidia Tegra 1/2 probably will never be supported, while Tegra 3 and later will be fully supported.)
    • Android 4.0 or later is supported, but Android 4.4 and later is recommended.
    • Hardware decoding support in XBMC is likely a must for HD video playback (720p+). Don't expect this to work on any device until someone has specifically tested it and can confirm hardware decoding support for that device. For more details on hardware video decoding support, see Android hardware.
  • The main aim for the Android port is to initially target media-players/set-top-boxes/sticks that connect to a large screen television and uses a standard remote control as interface device, (that is the same market at HTPC). However expect tablet/phone/touch/mobile/etc support to eventually improve with time.

3 How-to's

4 Tips and tricks

  • Note: Remember that hardware video decoding, which will be required on most devices for smooth video playback, requires a nightly build.
  • Avoid using wireless. A lot of Android devices have weak wifi, even those that advertise as being wireless-n. It may be possible to use a USB-to-ethernet dongle on some devices, or even a USB wifi adapter that has a better wifi radio than what is built-in.
  • Switch to a different network protocol to see if that has any effect, i.e. SMB/CIFS, NFS, FTP, WebDAV, etc.
  • Try sharing the media on another device to rule out a device-specific (or network) issue.
  • Turn off thumbnails, XBMC -> Settings -> Video -> File and deselect 'generate thumbnails'.
  • H.264 videos encoded with Hi10P profile will not work on most Android hardware as there are no ARM processors powerful enough to software decode it, and no hardware decoders exist for it.
  • If RSS feed is enabled, disable it in settings. This can make the main menu a bit faster.
  • Running out of disk space storage, or want to try tweaking caching and other performance settings to achieve faster response times? See HOW-TO:Reduce XBMC disk space for help on modifying how XBMC handles images.
  • Passthrough audio hacks for Rockchip based devices: http://www.minixforums.com/threads/how-to-get-ac3-and-dts-passthrough-in-xbmc-hdmi-and-spdif.2041/

4.1 Helpful applications

Some helpful XBMC related Android applications, as suggested by the community. This list should not be seen as any kind of official endorsement by XBMC.

Name Description Requires
root?
Link
Link2SD Good for moving XBMC userdata to the external SD card, in case you are getting low on internal memory. Yes link
full!screen If you are using XBMC on a Android 4.3 or lower, you can use full!screen to hide the "nav buttons", allowing for full screen playback of videos. Future Gotham feature: (Note: XBMC on Android 4.4 should support immersive mode, allowing this switch to full screen to happen automatically) Yes link
AnTuTu CPU Master (Free) Allows for disabling CPU power saving features for some Android devices, which could speed up the device. ? link
Rescan Media ROOT Some Android firmware have a media scanner enabled, which can slow things down on some devices. This application will allow you to disable/enable the media scanner. Yes link
Startup Manager (Free) Allows XBMC to open at startup. ? link
SendLog Useful for sending system logs to XBMC developers when trying to troubleshoot issues. If someone asks you for a "Log Cat" or a "crash log", this application will get that log. Yes link
Ted (Text Editor) Free and open source text editor that is useful for editing various XBMC files, such as keymaps and advancedsettings.xml No link
XBMC Updater Easily update or install XBMC without having to manually sideload No link

5 Device specific info

6 Random notes

Feel free to place various notes, tips, and links here. As this section of the wiki gets more organized, those notes will be properly sorted. Consider this like a dumping ground for when you're not sure where to put something.

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