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.
May add-ons won't work with Kodi since it uses Python 3..😭😭Damn it!!! For those of y'all who use Kodi just make sure you disable updates..the latest update is the worst..trying to download the 18.9 apk file and it's refusing.. sigh!
— Vionna (@Kurlycheeks) February 22, 2021
KODI updated to KODI 19 Matrix on the 19th FEB 2021, next time you don't want to Loose your ADD-ONs as well as Movies and Tv Series and Channels, TURN OFF UPDATES on the ANDROID PLAYSTORE pic.twitter.com/lCgwiGiZ68
— Ayman Gichuhi (@AymanJDG) February 21, 2021
Ha ha. Brilliant. The 3rd party add-ons that I use are Python 2 and have not yet been updated to Python 3 so I will have to wait to intsall them on Kodi 19.
— Ivorman (@Ivorman1) February 21, 2021
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.