One of our favorite things about Kodi is you can install it on almost anything. The Kodi app for Android allows you more physical freedom than installing it on nearly any other device. Watch on the go or cast it to your TV.
Difference Between Installing the Kodi App for Android and Anything Else
Installing Kodi on your Android device allows you more freedom of how, where, and when to stream your favorite tv show or other media. You can watch on your phone or tablet, or you can cast it to your TV with a screen sharing app.
The downside to screen sharing with your TV is the drain on the battery life of your smartphone or tablet. But keep a charger handy, and you’ll be fine.
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What Can You Do with the Kodi App for Android?
Kodi itself does not contain any content. You can add your own content and use it as a media player. Or you can install add-ons to stream content to your Android device.
The mobile function lets you stream on the go. (Well, you might want to keep track of how much bandwidth you’re using.)
How to Install Kodi for Android
There are a couple of ways to do this, the easy way and the slightly-less-easy way. Neither approach has any advantage except how easy it is to do.
Installing Kodi the Easy Way: Google Play Store
This is even easier than bribing your tech-gifted friends with beer or food to install things for you. Anyone can do this.
- Turn on your Android device
- Make sure you have a wi-fi connection
- Open up the Google Play Store
- In the search bar, type “Kodi”
- Tap “Install”
- Wait for a moment
- Tap “Open”
Configuring the Kodi add-ons will be the more time-consuming part, but it’s relatively straightforward too.
Installing Kodi the Slightly-Less-Easy Way: Android APK
Installing the APK is just working around the Google Play Store. You might need to do this on your Android TV. Otherwise, we recommend installing it through the Play Store.
If you hear someone talk about “sideloading,” this is what they’re talking about.
- Go to Settings -> Security
- Turn “Unknown sources” on/enabled
- On a web browser go to “http://kodi.tv/download“
- Look for the Android icon
- You will probably want the ARM link, but it will depend on your hardware
- Click “OK” to download
- Open your Downloads
- Click on the Kodi APK
- On the prompt, select “Package installer”
- If it asks you to update, select the update.
- Wait for the install, and you’re done!
- (Optional) After the install, you can delete the APK file. It doesn’t do anything other than take up space.
If you have issues running it, make sure you are at least on Android 5.0. You should be fine as long as your device is less than 3 years old. If your firmware is up to date on your phone or tablet, you may have selected the wrong install file for your hardware. For example, if you can’t get it to run using the ARM link, uninstall it. Then go back and install the x86 option.
Pushing Kodi From Your Phone to Your TV
Watching movies on your phone or tablet is great. Watching it on the big screen with a proper sound system is better. There are a couple of ways to do this, and both are easy.
First, you can use a Google Chromecast if you have one. They’re simple and plug right into an HDMI port on your TV. Then you can “cast” whatever is on your smartphone or tablet to the Chromecast. That includes whatever you’re watching on Kodi.
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Now Chromecast doesn’t support Kodi directly.Your best bet is to use the screen mirroring function through Google Home.
- Open the Google Play Store and search “Google Home”
- Download it
- Make sure your phone/tablet are connected to the same wi-fi as your Chromecast.
- Open the Google Home app and in the navigation menu (three horizontal bars) go to “Cast Screen/audio”
- Choose your Chromecast
- Return to your home screen and open up Kodi
- Select the streaming media you want to watch and you are good to go.
You can also get other screensharing apps, like LocalCast. We just find it’s easiest to use the native Google apps since they always work. Finally, if you’re lucky enough to have an Nvidia Shield tablet, you can just plug in the HDMI or use the built in cast options.
Best Kodi Add-ons for Android
So now that you’ve got Kodi set up and you can push it to your TV screen what next?
Kodi does not have any media on it. It’s a safety measure for them since they don’t want to get hit with any piracy suits. Anything you want to watch, you’ll have to find the add-on for yourself. (If you aren’t sure where to start, here is our list of the best Kodi add-ons in 2018.)
For some quick ideas or just to test that everything works right, below is one of our favorite options, Covenant.
Covenant is an add-on for Kodi that allows you to stream media. It pulls from a variety of servers. So if a video isn’t working well for you, you can simply switch servers and continue watching. Keep this in mind on weekends when streaming servers get hit the hardest.
Installing Covenant on Kodi is easy. Just follow this step by step guide to installing Covenant.
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How to Setup Kodi to Import & Play Your Own Media
One of the underrated features about Kodi is how it excels at organizing your own media. You can have your own personal media library. (Instead of scrolling through all your videos you’ve taken trying to find the right date while everyone is waiting for you to find it and seeing the rest of your pictures in the meantime.)
If you don’t keep your videos sorted, now might be a good time if you want to access them through Kodi.
- Open Kodi
- On the first screen that comes up, tap “Enter files section” (if you already fussed with the setup, it’s under Movies)
- Go to “Files”
- Then you’ll get options to select something from your SD card (if you have one) or your internal memory.
- Select the folder you want
- Name it (i.e., Home Movies, Personal Videos, Videos of My Cat, etc.)
- Go to that section and enjoy!