Archive:Android FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions for Android.

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.

2 Requirements

Stop hand.png It is highly recommended for users to not make any hardware 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 any hardware!
  • Kodi v17 and later requires Android 5.0 or higher.
  • x86 (Intel) or a NEON-compatible ARM-processor, (for example: Nvidia Tegra 3 and newer are fully supported by Kodi, while Tegra 2 and older are not).
  • 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).

3 There are three versions of Kodi for Android. Which one do I use?

The vast majority of users will want to use the "ARMV7A (32bit}" version or the "ARMV8A (64bit) version. Users who have an Android device with an Intel or AMD CPU will want to use the [ "x86" version].

4 Installing/getting Kodi for Android

  • Kodi v19.4 Matrix can be found here:
    • ARMV7A (32bit) (most users, regardless of your devices SoC, want this):
    • ARMV8A (64bit) (requires the Soc & Android version to be 64bit)
    • x86 (for devices with Intel SoCs)
  • For nightlies, alphas, betas and experimental builds, see the links on Development builds

5 Is Kodi for Android different from normal Kodi?

The current version of Kodi for Android is based on Kodi v19.4 Matrix, and is based on the same code as Kodi for all the other supported platforms.

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.

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)

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).

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.

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

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.

12 Automatically start Kodi

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

13 Performance tips

13.1 Performance: video buffering, stuttering, choppiness

13.2 Getting more help with Kodi for Android

13.3 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)

13.4 Where is the Kodi log

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

13.5 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

13.6 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.

13.7 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.

13.8 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.

13.9 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 -> Player -> Video -> Processing . 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 vendors need to fix this on the firmware level, not the application level. Some hardware vendors 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.

13.10 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 -> Player -> Video -> Processing. 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 -> Player -> Video -> Processing
  • 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.
  • Some AVI files with H.264 encoded video have problems if you play them with hardware decoding - some SoCs play them smoothly (like Mediatek 8129, 8173), while others don't (like Broadcom BCM28145, Qualcomm Snapdragon 617, 652, Samsung Exynos 8890). If your SoC is powerful enough, try disabling hardware decoding.

13.11 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.

13.12 Video playback stops when another app is in focus

  • This is expected behavior for newer Google APIs and how Kodi v16 works. In addition to making sure that the new video decoding APIs are working correctly, this also has the side effect of making sure Kodi doesn't prevent other apps from using video, such as Netflix, even if Kodi is still open.
  • To prevent this from happening when a video is paused, make sure that Kodi's screensaver is either off or using a screensaver other than "Dim" or "Black". That will prevent the Android screensaver/daydream from becoming active.

13.13 Low volume or strange volume behavior

  • To support TVs that have Android built-in, and to prevent the "double volume bar" of previous releases, Kodi v16 no longer changes both Kodi volume and system volume at the same time. Instead, these are now controlled seperately.
  • Most users will likely wish to leave Kodi volume at full and then control system volume, which is what most remote controls use by default for their volume buttons.
  • If volume is low then you might need to turn up the internal "Kodi volume". If you are using a skin that doesn't show the volume bar, then you can change the volume by playing a video and opening the on-screen-display and selecting the audio settings. Alternatively, you can also hook up a USB keyboard to turn the volume up using the + or = keys.

13.14 Crashing when opened

A few things to try it this happens:
  • Go into Android's settings and into "Apps". Then select Kodi and select "Clear cache". Do not select "Clear data".
  • If you are using MySQL then see MySQL/Upgrading.
  • Make sure your Android device has at least 500 MB of free space (a rough estimate).
  • Re-install without uninstalling. This should keep your settings.
  • As a last resort, uninstalling and re-installing can be done, but doing so will reset all settings.

13.15 GUI no longer rendered at 4K

Kodi v15 would render everything in 4K for the Nvidia Shield TV, but used a method that won't work correctly on other 4K boxes, as the GUI is handled by the CPU and not a hardware decoder.
This has been changed for Kodi v16. On supported hardware, such as some official Android TV devices, 4K video will always output at 4K. Only the user interface will render at 1080, so that less powerful CPUs aren't bogged down. In other words, the video lists and buttons are not as "sharp", but video will still be fine. In the future there might be an option to render everything at 4K, for devices that are powerful enough.

13.16 Missing "brightness" and "contrast" options

If in Kodi v15 you had brightness and contrast video playback options, but they are missing in v16, then you can re-enable them by going to Settings -> Videos -> Acceleration -> and disable only "Mediacodec (surface)". Video will still be hardware decoded, but this will disable 4K output support for 4K Android hardware.