Kodi 18 Will Add Universal Voice Search and Recommendations on Android TV

Kodi is meant to be a universal media player, with almost everything being customizable through add-ons. It works on many different platforms, so doesn’t always take advantage of each platform’s unique features. On Android TV, for instance, the app has existed, but only in isolation. Many of the great features of Android TV – recommendations, voice search, and Live Channels – have not been supported by Kodi. This is unfortunate because its wide range of sources could greatly improve the user experience.

Kodi’s lack of deeper integration into the platform had caused some developers to fork off into SPMC and add features to a competing app. However, it now seems like developers at Kodi are beginning to take Android TV seriously with a recent tweet about their upcoming revision, version 18, codenamed “Leia”.

The app will now begin appearing in voice search results, allowing users to find media quickly across all their apps. Want to watch King Fury? Just ask. It’ll show up next to Netflix. Additionally the tweet mentions that the app will provide results in the recommendations row. These two features should give users a much better experience on Android TV. While Kodi is nice, it doesn’t support every source. It only recently received an experimental Netflix plugin. By incorporating it across the whole system, it reduces the need to scramble between different apps, providing a much nicer Leanback experience.

It’s likely that Kodi will continue to explore how to improve the Android TV experience as they have considered these two features already. Seems like a lot of users been using Kodi on their TVs and want to see improvements. How will this relate to SPMC? It’s not clear at the moment, but the two may continue to compete.

Kodi is released periodically in stable builds, although they include much more frequent beta and alpha builds. You can sign up to be a beta tester on the Play Store or checkout their Downloads page for the nightly builds.

Kodi
Kodi
Developer: XBMC Foundation
Price: Free

Nick Felker

Nick Felker

Nick Felker is a student Electrical & Computer Engineering student at Rowan University (C/O 2017) and the student IEEE webmaster. When he's not studying, he is a software developer for the web and Android (Felker Tech). He has several open source projects on GitHub (http://github.com/fleker) Devices: Moto G-2013 Moto G-2015, Moto 360, Google ADT-1, Nexus 7-2013 (x2), Lenovo Laptop, Custom Desktop. Although he was an intern at Google, the content of this blog is entirely independent and his own thoughts.

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