You may have heard the news that the XBMC team has released a “user friendly” version of their media player that should be compatible with almost all Android devices. While the app itself may put the focus on accessibility, getting the app running is a little bit more complex than just downloading it from the Google Play Store. Luckily, the steps involved don’t seem bad at all, so you should only need to spend a few extra minutes to get XBMC working properly on your device.
The process, according to a thread on the Android Community Forums, can be broken down into three relatively easy steps. You device doesn’t need to be rooted before you can start running XBMC, so everyone should be able to use the media player. Rooting will help a bit later on in that you won’t need to download a third app, but we’ll get to that in a minute. For now, here are the three steps you need to follow in order to get XBMC on your Android device:
1. First, you’ll need to install XM Player from the Google Play Store [download link]. The app is free, just download and install that bad boy and then move onto step 2.
2. Once you’ve installed XM Player, you’ll want to make sure you launch it at least once before jumping over to step 3.
3. After you’ve launched and exited XM Player, you’re ready to install XBMC. The file you’re looking for is called “XAF Custom Build for XBMC” and there are three different versions of it: one for NEON set top boxes [download link], another for NEON touch screen devices [download link], and a third for non-NEON touch screen devices [download link].
If you already know whether or not your device supports NEON, download the appropriate file, install it, and enjoy XBMC on your Android device. If you’re not sure whether your device supports NEON, here are a couple of methods for figuring that out.
For non-rooted users, you’ll have to download and install the Android System Info app [download link]. Once installed, boot it up and take a look at the System tab. Expand the CPU section, and if see the word “neon” listed in there, you’ve got a device that supports NEON. If it isn’t listed, you’ll want to download the XBMC version for non-NEON devices, obviously.
If you’re using a rooted device, the process becomes a little less time-consuming. There are no apps to install, as you’ll instead be having a look at the /proc directory from the root directory. Open up the /proc/cpuinfo file, and if you see “neon” listed under Features, you’ve got a NEON-supported device. Regardless of whether or not your phone supports NEON, you’ll know after simply taking a glance at the Features entry in your /proc/cpuinfo file.
So there you have it, folks. It probably isn’t the most intuitive way to get XBMC running on your Android device, but it could be a whole lot more complicated. Be sure you’ve set your Android device to allow the installation of apps from unknown sources in the Device Administration menu, otherwise you might run into a few hiccups in your quest to install XBMC on your device. Enjoy!