XBMC started life as a semi-hack of the original Xbox to allow its users to play videos and music through the Microsoft gaming console. Since then its functionality and - in turn - popularity has exploded. Here we will show you how to install XBMC on your Android smartphone and tablet. See also: How-to get good bass on Android; boost sound on Android.
XBMC is open source software, so it's a bit like the Wild West in terms of the content it streams. It acts as more of a media gateway or player to 100s of internet sources, rather than being all-inclusive media player such as Netflix or BBC iPlayer. Getting the app onto your Android smartphone and / or tablet is a little tricky since it is not readily available to download via the Google Play store. See all Android tips and tutorials.
However it is far from impossible. Here's how you install XMBC on your Android smartphone or tablet.
How to install XBMC on Android: Step one
As you cannot download XBMC from the Google Play app store, you are going to have to download the .apk file from elsewhere on the internet, which means you are going to have to fiddle with your Android settings in order to allow third-party apps to be installed on your device. Not all Android devices allow this, but most do.
To do this you need to go to Setting > Security and then under the Device Administration heading you need to check the 'Unknown sources – Allow installation of app from unknown sources' check box.
How to install XBMC on Android: Step two
Now you need to download the .apk file. This is very straight forward task, simply go to http://mirrors.xbmc.org/nightlies/android/arm/ and select the .apk link at the top of the page. Once you've clicked on this you just have to click save.
How to install XBMC on Android: Step three
The next thing you need to do is locate the file you have just downloaded. It should be in your notifications, which can be found at the top of the screen. If you have cleared these then you need to open the Downloads app, or a File Explorer app and look in the Downloads folder for the XBMC app. Once you've found it simply click on it, read the T&Cs and if you are happy with them click Next.
How to install XBMC on Android: Step four
XBMC will then open and spend a few moments setting itself up. The length of time this takes depends on the speed of your smartphone.
That's it. You've downloaded XBMC and all you need to do in future is open the app like you would any other app, and use it like you would the desktop video. Happy XBMC-ing.