Thursday, September 2, 2010

XBMC Android App Review

Screenshots of free Android App "XBMC Remote Control"

So XBMC has released an "official" app for Android.  Pretty bad ass, really.

This is a really easy app to set up, and of course it's free.  I've used it on both a Nexus One and HTC EVO, both running v2.2 of Android (Froyo).

First thing first, you need XBMC running on your computer for this remote (duh).  From there, in the XBMC settings, you can enable HTTP remote control.  Specify a port (default is 8080), provide a user, and password.  That's it.

Open up the app on your phone and you can add your XBMC as a host.  The app on the phone will ask for the IP address of the XBMC machine (likely 192.168.X.X), the port, user, and password.  From there, you can head back out to the home screen in the app and it will automatically attempt to connect.  If it doesn't connect go ahead and exit XBMC on the machine and restart it.  I found that solved the first connection problem very easily.

Once you're connected to the XBMC host from the phone, the remote app will give you a home screen.  In the above pic the home screen for the app is the 3rd pic from the left.  TV, Movies, Music, Pictures, Remote Control, etc.  Clicking any of these will begin population of your media content.  This is actually pretty cool because the remote control app gives a great thumbnail and library UI.  Have a gander at this example of TV:

Example of App displaying your XBMC TV Library

Pretty freaking cool huh?  Same thing with movies.  This is a top down list, so you just continue to scroll through the list to find what you want.  Very slick.  Very responsive too, very little lag over even a bad wifi connection (low signal).

The remote control portion of the app is a little rudimentary, but it does give you all the basics.  Think pause, play, exit, menu, back, vol up/down, etc.  Control is intuitive and again responsiveness is awesome.  Press a button, your XBMC machine will begin playing, or whatever.  I found very very little lag.

This is definitely a must-have app for any XBMC user that has Android phone.

Head on over to XBMC org and check it out!  Download is free from the Android Marketplace.

Steve Jobs and his crappy Apple TV v2 can go suck it.  Nobody wants that POS box in their house.  Get yourself a PC for the same cost (it'll be way more powerful, more versatile, but likely in a larger box - who cares).  Install XBMC.  Get remote control and enjoy yourself.

I give the Android App for XBMC Remote Control a 4 out of 5 possible stars.  Only reason it gets 4 and not 5 is that the remote control portion itself is, like I said, a little rudimentary.  It doesn't have "all the buttons", which of course, we geeks *need*  (lol)

I should also mention that this app will *not* stream content from the XBMC to your phone.  You can't access your library and play movies on the phone.  That's not what it's designed for, it's designed to your phone into a fully functional remote for XBMC, and allow you to browse the library, etc.  Which it does flawlessly.

Leave a comment if you're already using this app or have a hint/tip/trick to contribute!


  1. phone app development is cash these days

  2. i knew it was only a matter of time for this. Great site

  3. Nice.. if only i had some android device..

  4. great review!

    will be back for more

  5. Nice review! If only I had the money to spend on an android =P

  6. wow, that's pretty good. might have to download it for my android.

  7. I have been using XBMC on my laptop for a long time. I recently got sick of plugging in my laptop to my tv everytime I wanted to watch a movie or TV show. I did some research on Android based XBMC devices and found the SkystreamX. It came preloaded with all of the best XBMC Add ons. It came ready to go. I had a Matricom MX2 that broke on me. This SkystreamX is awesome! I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to use XBMC on there TV.

    Android TV Box