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xbmc androidIt’s here. You can download a stable version of XBMC for Android right now. This isn’t a lightweight version of XBMC made specifically for tablets – it’s the full version of XBMC. So you can add your music and video collections and browse the Internet.

The XBMC Android interface, designed for a TV, probably won’t work well on your tiny smartphone screen – but it’s just about perfect for a tablet. For the unfamiliar, XBMC media center apps sorts your media for you and makes it simple to browse everything from your couch. Movies, TV shows and music are all given artwork and metadata – meaning your media looks almost as good while you’re browsing it as it does when you’re watching it.

But XBMC does more than play your media; it can play media from a variety of web sources, thanks to a seemingly endless supply of extensions. TV shows from Hulu and sites like it, as well as live news from around the world.

XBMC might not work on every Android device; check this list if you’re unsure. Also note that the XBMC Android app is not on Google Play, so to use it you’re going to need the ability to install APK files on your phone. On some devices this means rooting; on mine (ASUS Transformer) it does not.

Watch TV Shows Without A Subscription

Love TV? Check out Free Cable, which scrapes content from the websites of all the major networks plus a wide variety of cable channels, including Comedy Central, The History Channel, PBS, Adult Swim and A&E. This is content you can easily watch for free on your computer, but which occasionally doesn’t work on Android tablets for technical (no Adobe flash) or legal (someone decided you shouldn’t) reasons.

xbmc android

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I used this to watch the most recent version of The Daily Show on my tablet, and it worked beautifully. If you have trouble, use the settings to turn down the max bitrate and all should be well.

xbmc android install

Find Free Cable in the Bluecop repo for XBMC.

Oh, and this might be USA-only, but browse the XBMC repos and you’ll find plugins for your area. There’s iPlayer for the UK, for example. Explore and you’ll probably find something, or just keep reading.

Watch Live News From All Over Earth

Do you want to quickly switch between a variety of live news stations? The XBMC Android version gives you access to a variety of live news streams; all you need to do is find the appropriate plugin for the job.

xbmc android install

Learn more here – how to watch the news online using XBMC How to Watch the News Online Using XBMC How to Watch the News Online Using XBMC Read More .

NaviX, 1Channel & Every Video You Could Want

Do you want access to even more media? Be sure to try out NaviX, the ultimate media source of XBMC. This massive repository of user-submitted media links includes live streams, TV shows and more then a few movies that you can access with your XBMC Android app.

xbmc android install

If that doesn’t work out for you, check out 1Channel for XBMC. It’s questionable from a legal standpoint, but with it you can watch any show or movie you want instantly.

Beautiful Organization For TV Shows and Music

Do you already have an extensive media collection? Assuming there’s room on your Android device, you can browse it all from the XBMC Android app – and it will look gorgeous when you do.

xbmc android instructions

If you’d rather not store your media on your device you can always add network shares. It won’t work when you’re away from your home network, but if all you want is to watch your videos on your tablet it’s a great idea.

Read more about adding media sources to XBMC.

Coming Soon (Hopefully): Hulu!

There’s a Hulu Plus app for Android, but those who want to watch Hulu’s free content on their Android devices are out of luck. Until now.

A readily available Hulu extension for XBMC brings Hulu’s free content to Android with or without a Hulu Plus account.

xbmc android

Browse your favorite shows, see your subscriptions and watch as much TV as you want. Read more about Hulu for XBMC here How to Watch Hulu TV Shows & Movies in XBMC [US Only] How to Watch Hulu TV Shows & Movies in XBMC [US Only] Watch TV shows and movies from Hulu without leaving the comfort of your couch. If you've got an XBMC media center you'd be silly to not install this plugin (assuming you live in the US:... Read More . This one’s not working on Android right now, but hopefully it will eventually. Find Hulu in the Bluecop repo for XBMC.

So Much More…

Of course, there’s so much more here to explore. YouTube, Reddit, Miro’s directory and TED can all be found in XBMC’s default extension repo, so be sure to explore that as soon as you install XBMC. Also be sure to check out these articles for even more tweaks:

Again: you can download XBMC for Android right now at as an APK file.

  1. Ryan Stewart
    July 5, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    The problem with xbmc on android is there is no hardware decoding for most boxes meaning HD video won't play without studdering. It is very unstable and prone to crashing at the minute but it's still in development and improving with every release. The commenter who said it's limited to tegra chips is wrong, development is actually on an amlogic chip.

    Other than that you can get a build that uses an external player such as mxplayer to play videos if all else fails.

    Good article by the way! however I can remember xbmc being able to browse the web lol!

  2. Doug Prag
    January 17, 2013 at 4:05 am

    able to dl on my mid 729b w/ics but it crashes after the initial set up. not sure if it is a space thing as it takes up nearly a gig or if it is just a compatibility issue. the mid has a lot of apps that just don't work on it. I'll keep trying

    • Doug Prag
      January 18, 2013 at 2:33 am

      anyone know if this program works for the hp touchpad? I can try that instead.

      • Albert Harris
        January 19, 2013 at 6:30 pm

        Doug ...... have been playing with the unofficial XBMC build from the XBMCANDROID / XDA Developers teams this morning and seems alot more stable on my HP TouchPad than the official builds. For some reason they continually would lock up or never play anything. Plus this comes with alot of the more popular repos and video addons preinstalled. The Touchscreen UI is alot more tablet user friendly as well. You can read about it and get it here:
        I'm using the Neon Device version and it's working great so far.

  3. prasanth vikkath
    January 16, 2013 at 4:22 am

    XBMC oh my favorite Software..... I have started using it in my android

  4. Duane Arsenault
    January 15, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    I'll have to check this out tonight...I'm in Canada but interested to see what's out there. Is the content ip specific? If I use a US server can I watch US content?

    • Justin Pot
      January 15, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      The content in the (legal) plugins pulls from sites that may or may not be region locked. Hulu, for example, is locked down, so you can't use it. So your mileage may vary, but if you can't access a site using your browser you also can't access it using XBMC.

      To make things fair, I won't be able to watch Hockey Night In Canada online this weekend and you will. Jerk.

  5. Daniel Affourtit
    January 15, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Will this work on Google TV devices?

    • Justin Pot
      January 15, 2013 at 10:49 pm

      I don't know enough about Google TV to say, but my suspicion is that if this were possible you'd need to jailbreak the device to even try.

  6. Hank Lambert
    January 15, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Very nice. I just installed XBMC remote and XBMC on my Asus Transformer TF300T. After a week, it has become my only media player on my tablet.

    • Justin Pot
      January 15, 2013 at 10:49 pm

      Glad you're enjoying it.

  7. Igor Rizvi?
    January 13, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Daily show,most definetly :))

  8. Eric Brewer
    January 12, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Might want to mention that it's limited to tegra chips right now. Or at least that's what it said when I tried to install it.

  9. Keith Swartz
    January 12, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    This is a good pro-android read.

  10. Dale C. Scheetz
    January 11, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    The version on the website is for Frodo and doesn't work on my Transformer. However Amazon has a version that runs fine. I'm still trying to set up my account ;-)


    • Nathan
      January 12, 2013 at 9:50 am

      Amazon definitely does not have a version of XBMC. Nor does XBMC require anyone to set up an account. Amazon does have a version of the XBMC remote control, but that's not XBMC.

  11. Verb Washington
    January 11, 2013 at 3:09 am

    Sounds great, but when I installed it on my Acer Iconia A500, it opened to an error dialogue box: This XBMC package is not compatible with your device. Please check the XBMC Android wiki for more information. Having read through the wiki, I found nothing that would provide insight into my particular situation. Is it not yet ready for tablets?

    • Justin Pot
      January 11, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      Yeah, it doesn't work on everything yet. Not even close. But they're working on it, so at the very least it's something to look forward to.

    • Eric Brewer
      January 12, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      The problem that I ended up having is that it only supports certain hardware chips. I think it's minimum is tegra 3 or something like that.

  12. Brandon Brown
    January 10, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    This solves half my problem but now that I've finally built the media server of my dreams I really need to find a way to stream my videos when I'm not at home.

    • Dave Lokey
      January 11, 2013 at 2:13 am

      brandon, you could always use Plex media server for that particular feat. i recently installed in and it works great. i do love XBMC though, i have it setup on all the TV's in my home!

  13. Jackie Parkins
    January 10, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    I just downloaded and installed the Windows version (for Windows 7), and most of the videos were very bad quality and really choppy. I added the Free Cable add-on but found it almost useless. Am I missing something?

    • Justin Pot
      January 10, 2013 at 10:20 pm

      What channels were you trying to watch? Free Cable is only as useful as the shows that are provided, and some networks are less generous than others. I regularly use it to watch all kinds of things, though...

      And it's never choppy, even on an ancient computer. At least for me. Weird.

    • Nathan
      January 12, 2013 at 9:48 am

      If you happen to see this and you installed XBMC 12 Frodo, try switching your audio the Directsound. The default WASAPI can be problematic for many.

  14. Sofia Flores
    January 10, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    What is the theme on the screenshot under the section "Beautiful Organization For TV Shows and Music"?


  15. Anonymous
    January 10, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    More technology to compete with cable / satellite TV. I love it

  16. Todd Troutt
    January 10, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Excellent! Gives me another good reason to upgrade my crappy smartphone...

  17. John Schmitt
    January 10, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    XBMC is the bomb!! Love it on a Windows box! I can only imagine how great it'll be on a tablet!!

    • Justin Pot
      January 10, 2013 at 10:20 pm

      The touch controls aren't perfect but it's nothing a theme can't fix. Looking forward to someone making one just for tablets.

  18. Scott Macmillan
    January 10, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    This isn't the best for those of us in Canada.We are still restricted on media content and sites such as Hulu are a no go.

  19. PMG India
    January 10, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I appreciate your article, it's real and intellectual!!!

  20. Ryan
    January 9, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Thanks for the great article! I will have to try this on my rooted/rom'ed Kindle Fire.

    • Justin Pot
      January 9, 2013 at 11:27 pm

      Let us know how it works!

  21. Rickster
    January 9, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    When will this build finally work on any of the Google TV devices such as the Sony NSZ-GT1?

    • Justin Pot
      January 9, 2013 at 8:39 pm

      Finally? XBMC for Android wasn't even announced that long ago. Patience, friend. Patience.

      • Ibrahim the Eritrean
        January 9, 2013 at 10:57 pm

        Looks really great, Justin, and thanks! ---- By the way, are you Canadian and will this really work out here in Canada (- I know Hulu won't)?

        • Justin Pot
          January 9, 2013 at 11:24 pm

          I'm from Canada but I live in Colorado these days. XBMC will work in Canada, but anything region blocked will not. Don't worry: there are Canadian plugins for XBMC as well. You might have to do some digging but they exist.

        • tegert
          January 12, 2013 at 5:27 pm

          Justin your a twat

        • Justin Pot
          January 13, 2013 at 9:57 pm

          Tegert: it's spelt "you're", as in "Justin, you're a twat".

          "Your" is possessive, so your sentence didn't work unless you meant to point out the "a twat" that I own. in which case thanks: I've been looking all over for my a twat.

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