Android FAQ

From Kodi
Jump to: navigation, search
Kodi FAQs
Home icon grey.png   ▶ Android ▶ Android FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions for Android.


1 General FAQ

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

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

  • Yes! This is a full port of XBMC! It is not a thin client or lite version!
  • The initial aim for the Android port is to get XBMC working on inexpensive Android set-top-boxes. Phones and tablets will be supported as well for those who want XBMC on-the-go.

1.2 Requirements

Attention.png NOTICE:
It is highly recommended for users to not make any purchases in anticipation of running XBMC/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 4.4 operating-system or later is recommended, though Android 4.0 or later is supported by XBMC 14 (Gotham), however the newer Kodi 15 (Helix) and later will require at least Android 4.2 or later version of the operating-system.
    • x86 (Intel) or NEON compatible ARM processor, (for example: Nvidia Tegra 3 and newer are fully supported by XBMC/Kodi, while Tegra 2 and older Tegra probably will never be supported because its processor lacks NEON instruction set compatibility).
    • Hardware decoding support in XBMC/Kodi is likely a must for high definition video playback (720p or higher resolution). Do not expect XBMC/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 XBMC/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 XBMC 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 XBMC for Android


1.5 Is XBMC for Android different from normal XBMC?

  • The current version of XBMC for Android is based on Kodi v14.2 Helix, and is based on the same code as XBMC for all the other supported platforms.

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

  • XBMC main menu > System > Lower submenu > System info. Note the version and/or build date.

1.7 Why is XBMC not in Google Play, OUYA store, Amazon store, etc?

During the time between XBMC v12 and v13, an unofficial version of XBMC in the OUYA store (XBMC on OUYA) had to remove software decoding of AC3 and DTS by demand of the companies that owned those audio formats. The only way to enable software decoding of those formats would be to pay a licensing fee. The same thing happened for several video player apps on the Google Play store.
Well, crap.
Because of this, Team XBMC is considering their options. We don't want to remove features or ever charge money for XBMC just to expose it in an app store. We also want to make XBMC easily accessible to as many people as reasonably possible.
For the time being, you can always sideload the full version of XBMC from the apk downloads from See HOW-TO:Install XBMC for Android for details.

1.8 Video and audio formats XBMC for Android can playback

  • XBMC 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)

1.9 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).

1.10 Add-ons and skins

  • XBMC for Android is a full version of XBMC and will be able to use all non-platform specific add-ons and skins. More feature rich (CPU demanding) skins like AEON Nox might not run smoothly on lower powered systems, so keep to "lighter" skins for those boxes.
  • 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.

1.11 Remote controls

  • Some Android set-top-boxes come with a remote and an IR port which XBMC 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.
  • XBMC smartphone and tablet remote apps.
  • Other IR remotes can be used with IR receivers such as the Flirc.
  • Some Android devices support CEC

1.12 Google TV

  • You can install XBMC on Google TV devices that have the Android 4.2 update.

1.13 Launching Android apps from within XBMC

  • XBMC can launch other Android apps by going to "Programs" (on the home screen) and selecting the app you want to run.

1.14 Automatically start XBMC

  • You can automatically start XBMC 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 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, XBMC -> 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 XBMC disk space for help on modifying how XBMC handles images.

3 Troubleshooting

3.1 Getting more help with XBMC for Android


3.2 Where is the Userdata folder


The userdata folder is located on external storage/sdcard at one of the following locations (depending on your device):

userdata folder
  • /Android/data/org.xbmc.xbmc/files/.xbmc/userdata/
  • /sdcard/Android/data/org.xbmc.xbmc/files/.xbmc/
  • /data/data/org.xbmc.xbmc/files/.xbmc/

3.3 Where is the XBMC log


The XBMC log is located inside the userdata folder (see above), i.e.

debug log
  • /Android/data/org.xbmc.xbmc/cache/temp/xbmc.log
  • /sdcard/Android/data/org.xbmc.xbmc/cache/temp/xbmc.log
  • /data/data/org.xbmc.xbmc/cache/temp/xbmc.log

3.4 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.

3.5 How to hide the Android navigation bar

  • XBMC v13 now 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.

3.6 Audio sync/delay issues

  • Is some or all of your audio out of sync with the video? Try these tips:
    • Some AMLogic Android devices will have issues sync issues if the device is not rooted.
    • 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.

3.7 No video/black screen, only sound, when playing files


The three most common causes of only having sound, but no video, when playing a video file are:

  • The hardware in the box is AMLogic-based and another video/media app is running in the background. Quit the other media apps or restart the device and XBMC should display video again.
  • The hardware in the box is AMLogic-based and the firmware (Android installation) didn't set certain permissions correctly and isn't rooted. The easiest way to fix this would be to either root the device, so that XBMC can set the file permissions, or update to a better firmware that sets the correct permissions.
  • XBMC thinks the video can be decoded using video hardware/acceleration, but the encoding just isn't right. Using software decoding might be a work-around: Settings -> Videos -> Acceleration

3.8 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.

3.9 Can't select letters on the on-screen-keyboard when using a remote

Personal tools

Wiki help