The powerful and extremely well thought of XBMC software has often been thought of as a complete media center solution for the Windows, OS X and Linux platforms, but thanks to some incredibly hard work from the people over at XBMC, it looks like we can reliably add Android to that list of supported platforms. We’ve been hearing about Android pre-release and nightly builds of XBMC for quite some time, so we knew it was in the works, but the team has officially announced what they call the “first end-user friendly release of XBMC for Android”.
A number of Android users have been waiting patiently for quite some time to get their hands on XBMC for their devices, choosing to wait for an official and public ready release rather than getting involved in piecing together the necessary components to get the nightly builds working. The reaching of this milestone by the XBMC Android team means that Android smartphone, tablet and even set-top box owners can finally enjoy the power which the media solution brings, albeit with a few caveats.
XBMC for Android is definitely great news for smartphone and tablet users, but it also serves to breathe new lease of life into older Android TV type devices like the Android Mini PC MK402 that can now enjoy all of the media based benefits that XBMC offers. Although the software can pretty much run on any Android powered hardware, it does come with the internal trade-off of having to delegate video playing responsibilities to a third-party application called MX Player due to the lack of hardware support for a lot of devices out there.
In addition to providing a workaround for the lack of hardware support, the team has embedded some simple customizations and shortcuts that allow the user to interact more naturally with the software as well as added support for some of the XBMC community’s most popular plugins. To get up and running; users are required to have installed the free-of-charge MX Player application from the Play Store as well as going through the process of side-loading the relevant APK files to get XBMC on the device. More information and full instructions can be found on the official XDA-Developer thread.