We’ve been waiting almost a year for the Android version of the popular does-all media player VLC after it was unceremoniously booted out of iOS. It looks like that wait is slowly drawing to a close. Thrill-seeking users can download the pre-alpha (is that even a real term?) APK for their phones now.
Don’t fire up that download link just yet, though: you’ll have to do a little preparation before you’re ready to install. VLC uses some pretty advanced hardware acceleration to playback video smoothly, so to satisfy the diverse requirements of various Android devices, two versions of the app are available. The wiz kids at the XDA-Developers forums have a lot of technical jargon posted, but all you really need to do is this:
1. Start your trusty file explorer or terminal app
2. navigate to the /proc/ folder
3. open the file labelled “cpuinfo” in a text editor
Now take a look at the fourth line of text. If you see the word “neon”, you’ve got a phone with a processor that supports NEON extensions, and you should download the VLC version labelled “vlc-neon.apk”. If you don’t see the word “neon” on the fourth line, your phone doesn’t support NEON, so download the version labelled “VLC-noneon.apk”. Simple.
Enjoy a multitude of video formats on your Android phone. And remember, VLC is still in pre-alpha, so don’t be too harsh if it’s slow or buggy at the moment.