Anyone with a large local collection of digital TV shows and movies has likely heard of Kodi before. It’s the successor to XBMC (Xbox Media Center), a mod for Microsoft’s Xbox that transformed the game console into a veritable media player, and it’s grown into its own. Kodi has gained a ton of functionality and polish over the years that’ll make any media collection shine, and one of the newest features is Google Assistant integration for the Android TV client. It’s coming in Kodi 18.
Kodi 18, code-name “Leia”, was released in alpha this week. It brings two highly requested features to Android TV: Suggested recommendations and voice search.
When Kodi’s suggested recommendations are enabled, you’ll see movies and TV shows from your library alongside content from Google Play Movies, Netflix, and YouTube. Kodi will also recommend random movies that it thinks you might want to watch, and the next episode of shows you’ve been watching.
Voice Search, the other major new feature in Kodi 18, works just as well. If your Android TV device supports voice search, you can search for a movie, TV show, or song/album from your Kodi library and it’ll surface in the main Android TV search interface, next to offerings from other services.
As Kodi’s grown over the years, it’s gained handy features like PVR/DVR functionality and support for an increasing number of platforms. Kodibuntu is an Ubuntu-based, Linux distribution with Kodi for Linux already installed and pre-configured, and you can find versions of Kodi for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and newer game consoles like the Xbox One.
The latest Kodi 18 alpha build is available from Kodi’s website. Be forewarned, though, that it’s likely to be a bit less stable than the standard branch, so if you choose to install it, be prepared to encounter a few bugs here and there.
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