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The dark night of waiting is over: XBMC 13, codename Gotham, has reached beta status. It feels faster, and looks better, than ever before.

You can download XBMC right now if you’re interested – just scroll down to get to the beta. As always, there are pros and cons to running beta software: there may well be bugs at this point. If nothing else, news of the beta means the final release is that much closer.

About a year ago XBMC became available on Android devices 5 Reasons to Install Kodi on Your Android Right Now 5 Reasons to Install Kodi on Your Android Right Now Kodi, formerly known as XBMC, is a fantastic media app for Android, and you're missing out if you haven't downloaded it yet. Read More . This new release offers a dedicated touch theme, and improved touch controls, and includes a number of Android-specific speed improvements. If you weren’t sure about XBMC on Android, Gotham is work checking out.

xbmc-13-beta

But this new release isn’t just for Android users: XBMC continues to be a great option for Windows, Mac and Linux users, and a variety of features will be appreciated by them. For example, support for sharing media across your network. Users can now tell one system running XBMC to play a given file on another.

There are a lot of other changes, so here are a few highlights:

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  • Speed improvements for Android and Raspberry Pi.
  • 3D support: SBS, TAB, anaglyph, and interlaced.
  • Pulseaudio support for Linux users.
  • Simpler settings screens, with optional access to advanced settings.
  • New API, which could lead to a variety of creative plugins.
  • Windows XP is no longer supported.

The way skins work has also been overhauled, which is sure to inspire all sorts of creative visual takes. You can browse a list of in-progress skins if you want. Of those available right now, I’ve become partial to Amber – it’s fast, customizable and great looking. I’ve already had fun tweaking it.

xbmc-amber-skin

It’s also worth noting out that, back in November, XBMC introduced an official Add-Ons page. Here you can browse the official XBMC repository’s offerings. These are far from the only add-ons out there for XBMC, but they’re vetted – meaning they work well and are perfectly legal.

xbmc-add-ons-site

Like the idea of XBMC, but aren’t sure where to start? Check out our guide on how to set up your XBMC media center.

Source: XBMC.org

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