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XBMC for Android: Can it Replace your TV Subscription?

XBMC for Android is an open-source media player for smartphones, tablets, mini PCs, memory sticks, or set-top boxes that use Android as their operating system. Therefore, the software is free. You can use it on a number of compatible devices to playback video and audio files from all over the web. Here are the most important features and how-to’s of XBMC:

xbmc for android logo

Everything about the XBMC Media Center Software

First of all, XBMC for Android is a kind of media gateway towards hundreds, maybe even thousands of sources online. However, the app itself does not host any of the content – it only acts as an intermediary for


  • Hardware decoding.
  • Support for 3D movies in TAB and SBS formats, other physical digital media, network protocol clients & servers, video & audio formats, subtitles, and metadata tags.
  • Add-ons & add-on manager.
  • Plugins & scripts.
  • Web scrapers & metadata extraction.
  • Audio & video library.
  • Games manager & console emulators.
  • Slick, modern graphic interface & plenty of skins and themes.


You need a device with at least Android 4.2 to run this app. However, the recommended Android version is 5.0 or higher. As for the device, you will need one with an x86 or a NEON-compatible processor. Therefore, you can use the XBMC app for Android with the following devices:

  • Amazon Fire TV.
  • CompuLab Utilite.
  • Google Nexus Player.
  • MK808B Plus.
  • Pivos XIOS DS or XS.
  • Razer Forge TV.
  • SolidRun CuBox-I or Hummingbird.
  • Wandboard.
  • WeTek Core.
  • WeTek Play.

Of course, there are other devices you can install the app on, but these are just the most popular ones.

woman watching sports on tv

How to Download XBMC for Android & Install It

You can find the app in Google Play Store https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.xbmc.kodi, or on the XBMC official website https://kodi.tv/download/. If you have access to Google Play Store, downloading and installing the app is a piece of cake. If you don’t however, you will have to go through a more complex process – but the good news is, it’s not impossible!

  • First, you’ll need to meddle a bit with your device’s settings to allow third-party .apk files to be installed. To do so, go to Settings -> Security -> Device Administration, and then check the box next to the “allow the installation of apps from an unknown source”.
  • Then, download the .apk file from the above-mentioned
  • To install the XBMC app, first locate the downloaded .apk file and open it. If you did not download the file on the same device you plan on installing it to, simply copy the .apk file to the target device.
  • You will first see the Terms & Conditions page, which you should carefully read. Then, click Next until the XBMC app opens up and sets itself up.

This process works both with XBMC for Android phone, and for other devices mentioned above. When you first open the app, it will run much slower than usual since, as mentioned before, it needs to set a few things up.

How to Download & Install Add-ons for XBMC for Android

After all this is done, you will need to also install audio & video add-ons for XBMC Android. These are developed either by the XBMC team, or by third-party developers. Here’s how to get them:

  • From your XBMC media center’s menu, go to Get Add-ons and select the source you want to download from. Every add-on you will find with this procedure is generally safe, but if you’ve never used this procedure before we recommend choosing those developed by the XBMC team.
  • Then, select the category you want to download an add-on for (audio, video, etc.). This will prompt a dialog box to appear, which will inform you of the add-on’s main properties and requirements. To begin the download and installation process, select Install.
  • Restart the device or application and enjoy the convenience your new add-on brings.

browsing through the available live channels of xbmc for android

You can launch the XBMC application from your Android device and simply use it as you would with a default media center software. Play music, movies, or even games if your hardware allows it. Given the large amount of resources at your disposal with this app, you will definitely find something fun and/or educational to enjoy.

What Else to Keep in Mind about XBMC for Android?

Before downloading and installing this little software, you need to understand that XBMC does not provide media content per se. The app only acts as a media player, meaning you need to provide the content or use one of the many third-party plugins to find content online.

The company makes it clear in their Terms & Conditions that they don’t encourage illegally streaming copyright-protected media files without the express permission of the author and/or copyright holder. It’s particularly important to avoid any third-party download sources for the app (not necessarily for its add-ons, too).

Image sources: 1, 2, 3.

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