Depending on what device you’re using, you’ve got several different options on how to install Kodi. No matter what, you can always find all of the latest versions on the official Kodi download page at: https://kodi.tv/download/ (shown below). Android users can install directly from the Google Play Store if it’s available on your device, or sideloading it using the latest APK.
For those of you that may not know what that is, sideloading an app is when the app is not available on an app store like Google Play Store, or the Amazon App Store. When that happens, you download the APK (Android Application PacKage) which will take you through the setup process manually. Update: Check my tutorial on How to Sideload Android Apps for step-by-step instructions.
If you choose to go the manual route and sideload it, be sure that you’re using the correct version. Since Android can run on both ARM and Intel processors, there is a different version of Kodi for each CPU architecture. Since Kodi is available in the Google Play Store now, you probably won’t have to sideload it on any Android device you have. If you find that extremely rare TV box that can’t get to the Google Play Store, I have an older video showing how to sideload XBMC 13 Gotham on an Android stick PC. Even though it’s an older video, the steps will still work to download Kodi v16 Jarvis.
Once you’ve installed Kodi, it’s time to learn how to navigate the interface.
How to use XBMC \ Kodi
Remember when I said earlier that you’ll hear the words “10 foot user interface” quite a lot? Here’s what that means.
The main controls for Kodi are laid out in a ‘ribbon’ along the center of the screen, and are configurable to a certain extent. The main menu ribbon includes these categories by default: Videos, Movies, TV Shows, Music, Pictures, Programs, System and Weather.
Depending on the skin, you can sometimes add extra categories or hide unused ones.
In addition to the main ribbon, there are two other types of menus available in Kodi that you’ll want to be aware of: the Context menu and the Sidebar menu.
The Context menu will provide extra functionality depending on what screen you’re on when you click it. For example, in the image on the left I brought up the contextual menu for a movie – Star Wars IV: A New Hope. Here, the context menu gives us the option to add the movie to our queue, play the video, add it to our favorites, mark it as watched or pull up additional information on the movie.
In other screens, the options you see may be different, depending on what makes sense for that media type.
To pull up the Context menu, it depends on what type of device you’re using Kodi on:
- Android: Long Press (new feature in Kodi 16)
- Mouse: right-click
- Keyboard: ‘C’
- Amazon Fire TV: Menu button
- NVIDIA Shield controller: ‘X’ button
The View option will change how your movies and music appear in your library. Changing the view options will change between a List, Thumbnails, Fanart and Cover Flow.
Changing the Sort criteria will allow you to sort by Title, Year, Rating, My Rating, MPAA Rating, Duration, Date Added and Playcount. You can then sort the list in either ascending or descending order.
Favorites and Shutdown
Finally, in the lower left hand corner of the Kodi home screen, you’ll see two icons. The power-button icon will bring up the Kodi Shutdown menu. You can select to Exit, Power Off the System, create a Custom Shutdown Timer, or put the system into Suspend, Hibernation or even Reboot the system.
The star shaped button will bring up your Favorites menu. This works just as you’d expect it to. Using the context menu, you can add a movie to your favorites list so that it will appear on this list whenever you click the Favorites button from the Kodi home screen.