XBMC for Android set-top boxes is coming soon
The XBMC development community has announced that it has been working on an Android version of the popular open source media centre software. The Android port is said to include the full functionality of the desktop versions of the software, so, unlike the iOS version of XBMC, the Android application is not only a remote and content directory, but also a full blown media centre. The developers say that the application is mostly aimed at Android-powered set-top boxes but will also work on tablets and phones.
Pivos has sponsored the development of the Android port and the application supports hardware encoding and decoding on its XIOS DS set-top box. The development team apparently considered waiting for universal support for these features before releasing XBMC for Android but decided against it in the end. The developers are now looking to the community to help them to introduce hardware transcoding for other devices. Another caveat is the lack of specific interfaces tailored to devices with small screens, but the developers are confident that the community will be able to come up with suitable interfaces by the time XBMC for Android has its first stable release.
The source code for the new Android version is already available for download, but the developers caution that while "the port is fully usable and lots of fun to play with, it’s not quite ready for prime time." They are aiming to release installable APK files "in the coming weeks" but have not said when they will submit the application to Google's Play store. The developers have assured users that this will happen once they are satisfied with the state of the application, however. They have also said that it will not be necessary to root devices to install XBMC, a step that is necessary when installing XBMC on iOS as the application is not available through Apple's App Store.
XBMC for Android is licensed under the GPLv2.
- XBMC media centre audio sub-system rewritten for HD audio, a report from The H.