Android now officially has a VLC beta application available to all. Android owners could have potentially installed VLC on their device as early as March of this year, but only via an unofficial port. Now, several months later, the first official VLC app for Android has hit the Google Play store.
The unofficial version that rolled out over the XDA forums earlier this year appears to be related to the official release. This new release includes a user interface designed specifically for mobile devices and a widget that can be used for app-specific audio control. A folder browser is also included to make it easier for users to find and play files.
File compatibility is, of course, the main feature of VLC player. The app’s official description states that it will play “most local video and audio files, as well as network streams.” VLC’s popularity has always been tied to its ability to play almost any file – a benefit that will hopefully translate well to Android.
Hardware compatibility is limited. Only devices running an ARMv7 with NEON support can use this app. This is not meant to be a permanent limitation, however. Support for additional devices will be included as the app is expanded and improved.
As with the PC version, VLC Beta can be installed for free. It will probably be several months before the app’s compatibility and stability is acceptable for most users, but those who want an early look should give it a shot.