Android development

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Home icon grey.png   ▶ Development ▶ Android development

Team Kodi (formerly called Team-XBMC) first ported XBMC Media Center software to Android in 2012, and the whole project cross-platform application was renamed to Kodi in 2014. Kodi itself is a huge open source project and it takes loads of people working together to maintain it for all platforms, that is why Team-Kodi is always on the lookout for C/C++ programmers to volunteer in assisting us with the development of Kodi. Whether you have contributed to the Kodi/XBMC project in the past or not, please consider doing so now.

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End-users (non-programmers)

You can help too by downloading Kodi for Android, testing it, and reporting bugs and issues. Also, spread the word about Kodi for Android (and other platforms) to your friends and family, we are sure they will enjoy it too.

Developers (programmers)

You should be proficient in C/C++ programming language, and although not really required knowledge of OpenGL ES or other multimedia programming is a plus, as well as prior cross-platform or porting development experience.

Usage of the Android NDK (Native Development Kit) developers platform, and a step-by-step guide on HOW-TO compile Kodi for Android from source code is the up-to-date README for Android available in the XBMC Foundation git repo on GitHub.

Compiling Kodi for Android

Skill requirements and where to start

Proficiency in C/C++ programming language and, though not required, knowledge of OpenGL and/or multimedia programming is a plus, as well as prior cross-platform or porting development experience. Familiarity with the Android SDK and NDK is also a bonus.

A good understanding of JNI is highly recommended, since many operations in the Android environment require specific actions from the developers, that are not necessarily common in typical native code. These include:

  • Not being able to directly access the content of VM objects through direct native pointers. E.g. you cannot safely get a pointer to a String object's 16-bit char array to iterate over it in a loop.
  • Requiring explicit reference management when the native code wants to keep handles to VM objects between JNI calls.

Supported Development Platforms

  • Ubuntu 11 or later

The source code can be obtained by cloning the xbmc git repository hosted on Github.

To retrive the source code:

  • cd $HOME
  • git clone git:// xbmc-android
  • cd xbmc-android
  • git submodule update --init addons/skin.touchedgit:// xbmc-android

After obtaining the code repository, follow the compilation/development guide in the new repository to setup the required packages and so on. Team-Kodi developers opinion is that the best thing to start with is just to take a look through the source code and try to understand how it all fits together. Test things out, find what works and what does not, then try and track down why.

Software requirements

  • Compiling Kodi for Android requires at least Android NDK Revision 10d. Android NDK Revision 9 and earlier do not work properly for our cause.

Hardware requirements

  • x86-based computer. No other special hardware is required for development. For Android devices, either a virtual or hardware device can be used for development.
  • If using Mac OS X, this library from Intel is likely to be very helpful for hardware acceleration of a virtual Android environment.

Development Progress

Porting Libraries

The following is a list of libraries which Kodi relies upon.

  • Libraries