Kodi, formerly XBMC, is one of the most popular media center applications ever. It combines many media sources into one easy-to-navigate interface, with support for several operating systems (including Android). Over two years since the last release, Kodi 19 is now rolling out, but not everyone is happy with the upgrade.

Kodi 19, nicknamed 'Matrix,' mostly focuses on under-the-hood improvements. AV1 software decoding and better HDR10 support (including Dolby Vision HDR on Android) have been added, there are more options for organizing content based on available metadata, and music playback in the default skin has been updated (complete with a Matrix-like visualizer). Live TV integration has also been drastically improved, with new home screen widgets, channel numbering and sorting, PVR reminders, and more.

The most noticeable change for anyone using Kodi might be the new Python 3 requirement for add-ons. Kodi add-ons used to be programmed in Python 2, but that version reached End-of-Life on January 1st, 2020 and is no longer being maintained, so Kodi now requires all add-ons to run in the Python 3 environment. "Much of the community has come with us," the team said in a blog post, "so, hopefully, your favourite addons will still function, but we're at the mercy of third-party contributors to update their work."

Unfortunately, as with most breaking compatibility changes, there are still some add-ons not updated to work on Kodi 19. Some people are expressing their annoyance on social media, and the Addons4Kodi subreddit has a stickied warning to not update to v19.

Kodi 19 is slowly rolling out on the Play Store, but if you want to try it out right now, feel free to grab the APK from APKMirror. Alternatively, if your device is already updated and your add-ons are broken, APKMirror also has v18.9 downloads.

Kodi
Kodi
Developer: Kodi Foundation
Price: Free