A version of the open source XBMC media player has been announced for Android, and you don’t need to jailbreak or root your device to get it to work. Even better news is that this is a straight port of the desktop version of XBMC, with the developers saying that all of the features found in the desktop version are present in the Android one as well, or at least will be in time. Alas, this isn’t a finished product you’ll be downloading, but rather an early build of XBMC for Android.
The XBMC project team says that at the moment “only software decode of audio and video is hooked up.” Other features will follow this initial release, and the group said that they even considered waiting until universal hardware decode was in place before announcing the project, which was kept a secret until this past weekend. However, the desire to deliver the project to the open source community eventually won out, and here we are now, with the source code and everything available at XBMC’s website.
Skins are another thing they’ll be relying on the open source community for, with the team admitting that at this early stage, the UI can feel a bit clunky at times. They point out that there are already some great user-made skins for XBMC available, and that more should be arriving shortly. Have a look at this video of XBMC running as an Android app to get a feel for what it’s like:
Judging by the language is this announcement, it seems that this XBMC Android port – which is a combined effort of Pivos and XBMC developers – is aimed more at set-top boxes than it is tablets and phones, but the team does say that it should run pretty well on your smartphone and tablet nonetheless. Whatever flaws the Android version may have in this early stage, it’s pretty clear that the XBMC team plans to have a solid port on offer in no time thanks to the help of the open source community, so keep an eye out for that. For more information about some other Android media players, check out the timeline below!