Kodi (formerly known as XBMC) is a hugely popular open-source media player that acts as a central hub for all your home entertainment.
Since 2013, it’s been available on the Android operating system. And it’s not a stripped-out, featureless app — you get the full Kodi experience right from your Android smartphone or tablet.
In this article, I’m going to give you five reasons why you need to install Kodi on your Android right now.
Note: The user interface is exactly the same as the one you’ll get on a computer. Therefore, the app is easier to use on tablets with larger screens, rather than on phones.
1. Live TV Channels
Are you fed up of paying extortionate prices for cable or satellite television?
The prices might not be so bad if the services had content worth watching, but it seems 90 percent of the channels are either reruns of shows that weren’t very good in the first place or glorified 24/7 ad networks.
If you’re a TV junkie, the ability to get free live TV directly on your Android device — no matter where you are in the world — is comfortably the best reason for downloading the app. You’ll be able to get content from all the major networks plus a wide variety of cable channels, including Comedy Central, The History Channel, PBS, Adult Swim, and A&E.
There are lots of great live TV plugins to choose from, but some of the most popular ones are Phoenix, USTVnow, cCloud TV, and Channel Pear. If you’re not sure how to install plugins, check out our extensive guide.
2. Make Use of an Old Android Device
The Kodi app is not available on Roku. Its absence is possibly the only downside of using the excellent streaming devices. It is possible to install Kodi on Amazon Fire TV (UK), but the process is a little complicated for the average user.
Instead, why not use an old Android device that’s gathering dust in the back of a cupboard? Remove the SIM card, and you can turn it into a dedicated server for your entertainment. Just buy a Micro-USB to HDMI cable (if your device supports that), and you’ll be able to connect it straight to your TV.
3. Watch Your Media, Save Memory
You’ve been able to watch your own TV shows and films on Android for a long time. Just connect the device to a computer, then drag-and-drop the content you want. Unfortunately, HD videos use a lot of memory. If you’ve got a small device, you’ll quickly hit your limits.
Of course, there are file manager apps that allow you to stream network content from a computer directly to your Android screen. But there is no other app that does it all so beautifully and effortlessly as Kodi.
All you need to do is add your computer or NAS drive as a source. Kodi’s wiki explains the process in simple terms. You’ll be watching your favorite shows in bed on your tablet in no time!
4. Live News
Why do so many cable companies bundle the international 24/7 news channels into their most expensive packages?
Probably because news and sports channels are the two main reasons so many people remain reluctant to cut the cable. No one has a TV subscription just to watch Orange is the New Black or Breaking Bad — that stuff is all available elsewhere.
Kodi makes it easy to access 24/7 news channels from around the world without paying a cent. All you need to do is find the appropriate plugin.
5. Display Your Photos
For most people, the smartphone camera has replaced the traditional camera as their main way of taking snaps.
However, very few of us take the time to manage our smartphone’s photo library. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have your best photos mixed in with memes, screenshots, and random photos of things you wanted to remember.
Kodi is a great solution. You can use it to create slideshows of all your favorite moments, and those slideshows will never be cluttered with other photos. You can even share those slideshows on your network so they’ll be available on your desktop Kodi app.
Why Did You Download Kodi?
Do you run Kodi on your device? What have you found to be the biggest benefit? Why would you recommend the app to your fellow readers?
What about the other side of the coin — is there anything you hate about the product? Would you change anything? What do you find frustrating?
I’d love to hear all your thoughts and opinions. As always, you can get in touch via the comments section below.
Originally written by Justin Pot on January 9th, 2013.