Android FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions for Android.


1 General FAQ

See also: Kodi all platforms FAQ for FAQs that apply to all versions of Kodi.

1.1 Will this really do 1080p and all that stuff the desktop can do?

  • Yes! This is a full port of Kodi! It is not a thin client or lite version!
  • The reason Android port is to get Kodi working on Android set-top-boxes. Phones and tablets are also supported, but are not the main focus.

1.2 Requirements

Stop hand.png It is highly recommended for users to not make any purchases in anticipation of running Kodi on Android without first researching the device you want to buy. Before you do buy, make sure multiple people have verified that it works! If in doubt, do not buy that hardware!
  • Due to the fractured nature of the Android operating system ecosystem and diversified hardware devices with poor usage of standard APIs by manufacturers, it makes it very hard to give exact minimum requirements, so instead the basic set of requirements includes:
    • Android 4.2 is required (Android 4.4 is recommended)
    • x86 (Intel) or NEON compatible ARM processor, (for example: Nvidia Tegra 3 and newer are fully supported by Kodi, while Tegra 2 and older Tegra probably will never be supported because its processor lacks NEON instruction set compatibility).
    • Hardware decoding support in Kodi is likely a must for high definition video playback (720p or higher resolution). Do not expect Kodi to work properly on any device until someone knowledgeable have specifically already tested it and can confirm working hardware decoding support for that device. For more details on hardware video decoding support, see Android hardware.
  • The main aim for the Android port of Kodi is to foremost target media-players/set-top-boxes/sticks that connect to a large screen television and uses a standard remote control as its main interface device, (that is the same market as for HTPC). However expect the initial tablet/phone/touch/mobile/etc support to eventually improve with time.

1.3 There are two versions of Kodi for Android. Which one do I use?

The vast majority of users will want to use the "ARM" version. Users who have an Android device with an Intel or AMD CPU will want to use the "x86" version.

1.4 Installing/getting Kodi for Android

1.5 Is Kodi for Android different from normal Kodi?

The current version of Kodi for Android is based on Kodi v15.2 Isengard, and is based on the same code as Kodi for all the other supported platforms.

1.6 How do I find out what version of Kodi am I running?

Kodi main menu > System > Lower submenu > System info. Note the version and build date.

1.7 Video and audio formats Kodi for Android can playback

  • Kodi for Android supports all the same formats that other platforms do (such as desktop OS).
  • Due to the weak processing power of most ARM processors, for smooth playback most Android hardware will require proper hardware decoding. (See #Requirements below)

1.8 Accessing media

  • You can connect to media that's being shared from a computer, HTPC, or NAS device on your local network.
  • You can access media on the internal memory, SD cards or from USB ports (hard drives, USB stick drives, directly or via hubs, etc).

1.9 Add-ons and skins

  • Kodi for Android is a full version of Kodi and will be able to use all non-platform specific add-ons and skins.
  • If you are using a touch screen device and the build you are using did not include it, you can manually instal Add-on:Touched for better touch screen support.

1.10 Remote controls

  • Some Android set-top-boxes come with a remote and an IR port which Kodi can use.
  • Any Keyboard such as wired, wireless, bluetooth (if supported in your Android ROM). This includes "keymotes" such as a Rii, Boxee remote, most "air mouse" keyboard remotes, and others that appear as a normal USB keyboard to the system.
  • Web interfaces, including add-on interfaces.
  • Kodi smartphone and tablet remote apps.
  • Other IR remotes can be used with IR receivers such as the Flirc.
  • Some Android devices support CEC

1.11 Launching Android apps from within Kodi

Android apps can be launched from within Kodi by going to Programs -> Android programs. It is even possible to launch Android apps from shortcuts on the main menu for skins that supports custom home items.

1.12 Automatically start Kodi

You can automatically start Kodi when your Android device boots up using an application such as Startup Manager (free)

2 Performance tips

2.1 Performance: video buffering, stuttering, choppiness

  • Note: Remember that hardware video decoding, which will be required on most devices for smooth video playback, requires Kodi/XBMC v13 or higher.
  • Avoid using wireless. A lot of Android boxes and "sticks" have weak wifi, even those that advertise as being wireless-n. It may be possible to use a USB-to-ethernet dongle on some devices, or even a USB wifi adapter that has a better wifi radio than what is built-in.
  • Switch to a different network protocol to see if that has any effect, i.e. SMB/CIFS, NFS, FTP, WebDAV, etc.
  • Try sharing the media on another device to rule out a device-specific (or network) issue.
  • Turn off thumbnails, Kodi -> Settings -> Video -> File and deselect 'generate thumbnails'.
  • H.264 videos encoded with Hi10P profile will not work on most Android hardware as some (most?) ARM processors are not powerful enough to software decode it, and no hardware decoders exist for it. As faster ARM CPUs come out this will get better, but don't expect miracles from the average Android box.
  • If RSS feed is enabled, disable it in settings. This can make the main menu a bit faster.
  • Running out of disk space storage, or want to try tweaking caching and other performance settings to achieve faster response times? See HOW-TO:Reduce disk space usage for help on modifying how Kodi handles images.

3 Troubleshooting

3.1 Getting more help with Kodi for Android

3.2 Where is the Userdata folder

The userdata folder is located on external storage/sdcard at the following locations (depending on your device):
userdata folder
  • Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.kodi/userdata/ (see note)

3.3 Where is the Kodi log

The Kodi log is located inside the temp folder, i.e.
debug log
  • /sdcard/Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.kodi/temp/kodi.log

3.4 How can I obtain a Minidump

The Kodi minidumps are located inside the temp folder, i.e.
  • /sdcard/Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.kodi/temp/*.dmp

3.5 How can I obtain a Crash Log (logcat)

A crash log (also called logcat) is mandatory to be able todebug hard crashes on Android
  • Download the SendLog app from the Google Play store. It allows you to send your system log to an email address. Email it to yourself and show us where the error happened. (requires root)
  • Alternatively, you can use your computer. Plug your device, download and unzip the Android SDK and run ddms.bat in the tools folder. There you have it under LogCat.
  • The logfile is kept on a phone for a while, so you don't need to reproduce a crash in order to get the log.
  • Be sure to have hidden folders set to be shown in your file explorer.

3.6 How to hide the Android navigation bar

  • As of v13, Kodi supports Android 4.4 (Kitkat)'s immersive mode, allowing for fullscreen automatically.
  • To remove the navbar:
    • You can use "HideBar" (Has a free version, and is open source if you wish to compile yourself)
    • The app "Full!Screen" is free and should also work.
    • A custom Android distribution can be installed to correctly handle the navbar. Replicant, CyanogenMod and some others offer an “extended desktop” mode which hides the navigation bar and, optionally, the status bar too. Also check for firmware on sites such as for more firmware options.

3.7 Audio sync/delay issues

Is some or all of your audio out of sync with the video? Try these tips:
  • Check for firmware updates for your specific Android device.
  • If you have a delay that is consistent regardless of the file, you can manually adjust the delay:
    1. Open any video that has audio playing.
    2. Bring up the on-screen-display and select the audio options.
    3. Select Audio offset and then adjust the audio until the delay is corrected.
    4. Back in the OSD audio settings, scroll down and select Set as default for all videos.
  • Editor note: Sometimes things can be corrected by just not using audio passthrough, but either some people don't want to do that at all, or they don't know exactly what that is. We probably need a guide about audio sync in general (not just Android), and add that to our general audio help pages.

3.8 Amlogic playback issues (zoomed in, 1/4 screen, no video, etc)

  • As of v15 and later, Kodi will no longer ask to fix incorrect video decoding permissions on Amlogic-based devices that have incorrectly configured firmware. This might cause an issue in some situations, and if this happens to you, first try to manually disable amcodec and only use mediacodec and libstagefright under Settings -> Videos -> Acceleration . If videos still won't play correctly then the device might a firmware/OS update for things to work properly.
  • In some cases video playback is fine, but incorrectly sized so that it only takes up a small portion of the screen. This again is most likely a firmware issue, but a temp workaround would be to go into Android's system settings (not Kodi's settings) and change the GUI resolution to 720 and/or disable "auto select". Video will still render at 1080, and only the GUI is limited to 720.
  • There may also be situations were Kodi isn't correctly detecting the box's ability to use the "amcodec", and thus prematurely disabling it. Our devs are currently looking into this situation, and if true, will attempt to fix it.

Why was this changed?
Kodi doesn't try to manually fix the permissions anymore. Doing so was a hack that the devs didn't feel comfortable with, and venders need to fix this on the firmware level, not the app level. Some hardware venders are still unwilling to set the necessary permissions because of a misconception on "security", which ironically requires granting apps root-level access, which is far less secure.
However, the mediacodec "path" to decoding doesn't require the permissions changes, and mediacodec support has improved both in Kodi and in most firmware (even in some of the flawed ones). So now when amcodec fails it falls back on mediacodec, which normally works. In that sense it is "fixed". Eventually mediacodec will be the single standard, and there won't be a need for amcodec, but the option is still there for some special situations.

3.9 Videos play, but are not always smooth

There are a number of reasons why this can happen, so it's hard to give general advice for such a description, but here are some things that you can try:
  • Some Android hardware has bugs using the "MediaCodec" hardware decoding method, but plays video fine using "libstagefright". Try turning off "MediaCodec" and leaving "libstageright" on in: Settings -> Videos -> Acceleration. Users of AMLogic hardware can ignore this, as those devices use a third "AmCodec" hardware decoding method.
  • Hardware video decoding might not be enabled at all on your device. Most Android boxes will require hardware video decoding for smooth HD video playback. Check settings under Settings -> Videos -> Acceleration
  • Most Android boxes don't support hardware video decoding of some codecs, such as VC-1, Hi10P, and HEVC(H.265). Consult the compatibility list on Android hardware.
  • Rule out network performance by loading a small test video directly to the internal memory of your Android device.

3.10 Downloading Kodi results in a .txt or .zip file instead of a .apk file

  • Some web browsers will rename .apk files for some reason. To fix this you simply need to rename the file back to .apk and it should then work to install Kodi. To rename files you can use a file manager/explorer program.
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