- Looking for information on the XBMC remote control app for Android? See Official XBMC Remote/Android.
|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 have limited support as well.
1 Main topics
Other Android-specific wiki pages for topics, guides, and advice. For everything else standard XBMC pages will normally apply.
| HOW-TO:Install XBMC for Android
Installing applications on Android is quite easy compared to many other platforms, although it is somewhat different from other platforms. On this page we list the steps needed for basic installation an uninstallation.
| Android FAQ|
Frequently Asked Questions for Android.
| Android hardware
For most 1080p high definition videos, hardware video decoding is necessary for smooth video playback on Android devices. And this article contains a list of SoC's (System on a Chip, which is the CPU, GPU, VPU, etc. also known as "chipsets") for Android platforms that can playback common video codecs smoothly using XBMC. While some devices might be able to smoothly decode standard definition and even some 720p videos using only software video decoding, offloading a large part of video decoding tasks to an integrated VPU (Video Processor Unit) optimized specifically for that job is considered essential for most Android devices to playback high definition videos.
| Developing XBMC for Android|
Team-XBMC ported XBMC Media Center software to Android in 2012. XBMC is a huge open source project and it takes loads of people working together to maintain it for all platforms, that is why Team-XBMC is always on the lookout for C/C++ programmers to volunteer in assisting us with the development of XBMC. Whether you have contributed to the XBMC project in the past or not, please consider doing so now.
|| Tips and tricks|
Boost performance, troubleshoot, enhance, and more.
| Helpful applications
|| Device specific info|
| Touch controls
Touch screen devices, such as those for Android and iOS, have a number of default functions and can also be modified using a touchscreen.xml keymap. The ability to change these controls with a keymap file was added in XBMC v13 "Gotham".
| Random notes|
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, do not buy that hardware!
- Due to the nature of Android hardware it is hard to give exact minimum requirements, so instead the basic set of requirements includes at least:
- NEON compatible ARM processor, (for example: Nvidia Tegra 3 and later are fully supported by XBMC, while Tegra 2 and older Tegra probably will never be 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 high definition video playback (720p or higher resolution). Do not expect this to work on any device until someone knowledgeable have specifically already 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 as for HTPC). However expect tablet/phone/touch/mobile/etc support to eventually improve with time.
Assorted how-to's related to the video library that have been added to the wiki:
Ouya has a bit different setup than normal Android devices with XBMC for adding local media, but is roughly the same. Installing applications on Android is quite easy compared to many other platforms, although it is somewhat different from other platforms. On this page we list the steps needed for basic installation an uninstallation. OUYA uses XBMC for Android. The current XBMC version, v13 "Gotham", should be fully compatible with the OUYA. To use an external player on XBMC for Android you simply need to make a playercorefactory.xml file in the userdata folder.
4 Tips and tricks
- Avoid using wireless. A lot of Android boxes and "sticks" 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 some (most?) ARM processors are not powerful enough to software decode it, and no hardware decoders exist for it. As faster ARM CPUs come out this will get better, but don't expect miracles from the average Android box.
- 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.
- Running a Rockchips device? Maybe check out SPMC.
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.
|Link2SD||Good for moving the 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. (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 delectable software to open at startup.||?||link|
|CatLog||Useful for sending system logs to 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 files, such as keymaps and advancedsettings.xml||No||link|
|XBMC Launcher||Set XBMC (and various forks) as a Launcher without having to mod the APK||?||link|
|XBMC Updater||Easily update or install XBMC without having to manually sideload||No||link|
5 Device specific info
Here are a few device-specific guides/help areas that the community has provided.
Amazon Fire TV is an Android-based (Fire OS) set-top-box that contains a very powerful ARM processor (that can even handle some of the more heavy XBMC skins). Fire TV stands above some of the other Android-based offerings due to Amazon's strong product support and because it contains more remote friendly versions of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and other video service clients, making it a good pairing with XBMC. OUYA is an Android-based game console and set-top-box that contains a very powerful ARM processor that can even handle some of the more heavy XBMC skins, in addition to outputting video in Full HD (1080p). The first version of XBMC to officially support the OUYA is v13 "Gotham", since a test build of XBMC v12 ("Frodo") was required to enable hardware video decoding on the OUYA. Two unofficial v12-based versions were made available to hold users over until v13 is released: XBMC For Ouya (an unofficial build submitted to the Ouya Store, but lacking DTS and AC3 audio support due to licensing issues) and SPMC (a fork of XBMC released by XBMC developer Koying that has Ouya support but must be sideloaded). Pivos XIOS DS is an ARM-based media player set-top box that can run XBMC on either Android or Linux.
This Pivos XIOS DS was the original reference hardware target for the XBMC for Android port development. Pivos XIOS DS performs roughly at the level as a jailbroken ATV2, but also comes with USB ports, micro-SD card, and doesn't need to be jailbroken.
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.
- Make "dummy" XBMC add-ons for launching Android apps. XBMC can do this without the dummy-add-on, but some skins might require it for home screen placement: https://github.com/elmerohueso/nnxbmcnetflix