Update: While both the US and Canada did not have access to VLC for Android on the Play Store at launch, some of our Canadian readers have pointed out that they have since been able to download it from there for quite some time now. As it turns out, the American release was indeed the last hold out.

We in the tech industry have a tendency to throw around the word "finally" perhaps a tad more often than we should. Developing things takes time, and some features that seem easy to implement on the surface actually require a great deal of effort and man hours to accomplish.

Some things, though, really make us just go seriously? VLC for Android is one such case. The app, which first appeared in a beta form in the summer of 2012, has not been available to North American users in the Play Store. Yes, that includes you, dear American readers, and not just our often-neglected Canadian neighbors in the cold, barren North. Sure, we all could install the APK manually, but that just wasn't the same.

Now things have finally changed. Yes, finally.


At launch, VideoLan said the lack of North American Play Store availability was the result of its not having access to enough devices from the region. Then, roughly two years later and right before the chaos that was Google I/O, the project sent out this tweet.

So in case you missed it, there it is. If you meander on over to Google Play, you will see that VLC is now sitting there innocently, smiling back at you sweetly as though it hadn't been playing hide-and-seek alone for the past two years.

Thanks, Jeremy.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • EowynCarter

    It was region locked ? What the hell ! Probably an issue with the codecs.. So stupid !

  • Paul_Werner

    I may check this out but it'd have to be pretty substantial to pull me away from MX Player now

  • Michał Kumor

    This is how "the rest of the world" usually feels like when things become available for us much much later than for US citizens.

    • Cherokee4life

      exactly what i was going to say... I don't like it lol

    • derk p

      im so sick of being last for or not included in everything. i live in the US.

      • shaunajdavidson

        my buddy's
        sister makes $87 every hour on the internet . She has been unemployed for 6
        months but last month her payment was $19402 just working on the internet for a
        few hours. go right here M­o­n­e­y­d­u­t­i­e­s­.­C­O­M­

  • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

    To everyone who wants to laugh at us because this is the way the rest of the world usually gets treated, this guy already beat you to it... two years ago: http://www.androidpolice.com/2012/07/02/vlc-player-now-available-in-the-play-store-for-armv7-neon-devices-but-not-in-the-u-s-and-canada/#comment-574294492

  • Barnassey

    Considering that a vast majority of the donations the VLC project receives is from north america, Im surprised it took this long. As a result other (possibly better) options popped up.

  • Cody Stamps

    Does it have Chromecast support?

  • Guest

    Uh, what region lock? I had for it 2 or 3 months now, and I DLed it from Russian Play Store

  • Stanley C.

    To late for mobile. sorry VLC, youre not in my devices :-)

    MxPlayer FTW!

    • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

      You should still give it a try.

      Also, Chromecast support incoming :P

  • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

    Uh? I had VLC for a while here in Canada. Maybe it's because I have a Nexus device?

    • Mike Harris

      From the Play Store? I'm pretty sure that was the point of the article.

      • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

        Yes, I have it from the Play Store since then.

  • http://mekakiwi.blogspot.com.br/ ED-Z が あらわれた!

    Here in Brazil we can't enjoy a lot of US-Locked apps for no reason... So, don't complain...

    • http://mekakiwi.blogspot.com.br/ ED-Z が あらわれた!

      After my rant above, I'll comment about the most likely reason for that.
      Patents, Codecs patents... I remind a couple of articles about VLC being sued over Codecs patents.

  • Sharath

    MX Player all the waaaaayyyy!!!!

    • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

      Meh, I prefer VLC UI.

  • mlj11

    So, AP... To commemorate this momentous occasion, what say you give VLC a full proper review, complete with comparisons against other media apps like MX Player?

    • JLM

      I agree. Can we get a review and comparison to other players like MX Player, Avia, VPLayer? I listed the video players I have, but there might be better/more popular ones.

      Heck a video player review even without VLC would be good to have.

      • evolutionx1

        Also Dice Player..

    • Chris X

      I would second this request. I would, also, ask what the benefits are of a 3rd party video player compared to the pre-installed options. I know that, for one, we need 3rd party players in order to view video taken on iPhones, but what are the benefits beyond that?

      • István Szabó

        E.g. the ability to load subtitles, easier and more accurate navigation within video.

    • http://www.willpresley.cf Billy Presley

      I'll jump on this bandwagon. Now that there are a few debatable options out there, I would love to see a thorough review of some of them, on some varying levels of hardware (to see differences between SW/HW decoders, etc).

    • Randy Strye

      i'm with VLC over MX simply because i don't have to wait a month to use it every time android updates its version number by 0.0.1

      • Daniel Siladji

        It works with the L preview, maybe even without needing to update

  • mgamerz

    Why. Why do developers not use the standard overflow button and try to create their own. Look at the spacing of that button.

  • WORPspeed

    Really? This also doesn't qualify as FINALLY.
    FINALLY would be when this app ditches it's beta tag!
    Finally was all the years the US had it all and FINALLY a good app comes along that the US doesn't get.

    THAT is FINALLY...

    this...this is nothing....you could even download the apk and bam you are there....Gargle Vois? Google Wallet? Google Offers? THOSE are the REAL REGION-LOCKED apps/services....

    I hate to be this guy, but someone has to do it: #spoiledamericans

    EDIT: I do feel for you canadians out there, stay strong!

  • awaaas

    Even Google Keyboard isn't listed on my N4 in Indonesia for somewhile ago (it started showing after 4.4.3 update). Sure I can sideload it from somewhere else, but come on, it's a keyboard, and also my phone is nexus.

  • Captain Canada

    This post is really confusing, I'm a Canadian and have had the VLC beta for well over a year. The fact that this was unavailable to North Americans is news to me, I also installed this through Google Play and never side loaded it. Love the updated UI btw, waiting on Chromecast support which will be amazing.

  • DrakeTungsten

    Last time I tried VLC (for Android), it was very buggy and crashy. But I'll check it out again now.

  • gaudette

    Not sure why you grouped Canada in this. We had it for year and nowhere did that tweet mention Canada.

    • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

      The US and Canada were the only two countries excluded at launch. Today we were tipped that North American access was finally available, and since there has been very little press surrounding VLC for Android since its release (and none of us writers are Canadian), we missed that Canada Play Store availability slipped in at some point along the way. The tweet didn't mention Canada, but that happens often enough that it didn't sent off an alarm.

      I have updated the post and apologize for the mistake. Thanks for letting me know.

  • Carlos

    Haha now Americans can taste how horrible it feels when something is blocked or not available in another country

    • Chris X

      I don't like it!! **goes pouting off while stomping feet**

    • Dan Gerbe

      Most tech companies are based out of the US so due to convenience and possibly legal issues they most certainly will be released to the US first...

      • Android Developer

        I thought most legal issues actually occur in the US, with all those patents wars and suing everybody over weird stuff.

      • primalxconvoy

        Actually they are not. This'd is especially true for file hosting sites and other technology that doesn't want to deal as much with the NSA, or law suits. You'd be surprised how many video game companies are based in Poland, South Africa, Russia or even Japan these days.

    • Nick

      Eh, not really. The nightly apk files were easily available on their site. Been using this whole time. No regrets, and definitely better than janky MXPlayer.

  • Kostas

    It's not funny when it's done to you guys huh? :P

  • Bopsy

    Det is twey.

  • Noah Roesler

    This does not make any sense... I've had VLC for over a year now.

  • Bobby Tait

    Since the update it has been terrible. Crashes when I put on shuffle and the repeat playlist function on at the same time and is also impeccably slow compared to before!

  • dude

    Sweet, finally I don't have to manual download those nightlies anymore.

  • Halin

    Now you know what it feels to live here (anywhere but NA) when it comes to new features ;)

  • ArclightX

    Is this even worth getting if I'm already married to MX Player with the DTS plugin?

    • Android Developer

      Not yet. I don't see any advantage of it over MX player.
      it's buggy, and it doesn't support subtitles well. plus it doesn't have the cool gestures that mx player has.

    • primalxconvoy


  • HannahMoore2014

    Thanks for sharing such wonderful post, I've been using VLC on my Laptop... Now I'm gonna use it for sure :)


  • jules

    DicePlayer all the way. Among others great file support, excellent UI, pop up play and network support (smb & ftp).

    As 2nd go to video-app changed MX for VLC after noticing MX had trouble with HD files.

  • Hidetomaru
  • http://flavors.me/sabret00the sabret00the

    VLC still kinda sucks to be honest.

  • Bob Hart

    I have VLC,now updated to beta, on my Note Pro 12.2 tablet and unlocked 32GB Nexus 5.

    It plays all the video files types I have stored on a micro SD card in the tablet and attached USB flash drive.

    I use Stick Mount Pro for the rooted Nexus 5 when USB OTG is used.The VLC app works well.playing the video files on the attached flash drive.

    The MX player with added codecs failed with some file types on the Samsung tablet.Mostly no sound.

  • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

    Been sideloading nightly builds for a while now. Plays everything I throw at it on a nice, simple Holo interface. Definitely my favorite video player.

  • artsr2002

    Been using MX Player forever. I only use VLC on my desktop. BTW, anyone that needs a a video player to use on the L build for your Nexus 5, this one I linked below works great. MX would crash using software rendering and would severely stutter using hardware rendering.


  • primalxconvoy

    Like Firefox, VLC was my go-to program on my PC, but these days they both seem so clunky on my phone. I've moved on to MX player and Dolphin now.