The developers over at Kodi officially announced the release of their latest version labelled “Isengard” or for those counting, version 15.0. Having tested the initial Beta and RC versions of the 15.0 version there is certainly a lot to look forward to in this release but the biggest comes in the news that Kodi is can now officially say that are apart of the Google Play Store. A mere 36 days ago Kodi was pushed into the Play Store and since that time the developers have seen over 400,000 thousand active installs. This certainly makes it easier to install for beginners but of course if you’ve already done so by side loading you can continue to do so in the future.
Kodi 15.0 Features
The feather in the cap is news of the Google Play Store but version 15.0 comes packed with some welcome new additions.
Android specific features will include 4k, refreshrate switching, and HEVC playback. Those features will be available on devices that are equipped with hardware to support them include amlogic devices and the NVIDIA Shield. The only requirement is you’ll need to be running Android 5.0 and above.
Cross platform specific features
On all platforms we should be seeing these features:
- A New Chaper Selector Window which will allow you to visually browse chapters from mkvs and other video containers that support them.
- Adaptive seeking (aka Skip Steps) – The more times you press a button to seek in a period of time, the larger the jump forward or backward will be.
- Audio and Subtitle Lists – For content that includes multiple audio and subtitle choices, you can select from a full list of choices, rather than manually searching through a spinner.
- Language Add-ons and Expanded International Preferences – Now language translations aren’t dependent upon release, but get regularly updated to all users as the add-ons themselves update. Additionally, you now have total control over date, time, temperature and more displayed formats.
- Improved Add-on Manager – The add-on manager has now been reworked to help make finding the add-ons you are looking for easier.
Other Additional Changes and Improvements.
- ffmpeg 2.6.3 update
- Improved Closed Captioning support in Live TV
- Fixed music video queuing
- Allow scanning of new sources and marking as watched during other library operations such as “update library”
- Windows DXVA HEVC hardware decoding support if driver and hardware support exist
Changes from 14.2 to 15.0 include:
- Minimal 10.7 Lion 64-bit required on Mac OSX
- Minimal iOS 5.1 required and ATV2 support discontinued
- Minimum Android 4.2 Jelly Bean MR1 required on Android
- Ubuntu 12.04 support dropped in PPA
- On Android the system now handles the volume instead of Kodi
- Removed the need for root/SU on Android. Some hardware/firmware might not like that. Please contact your hardware supplier
- Removal of Tuxbox support. Users of Enigma2 boxes can use the VUPlus PVR add-on
- Removal of AFP filesystem support
- Remove legacy code pre-Frodo 11.0
- Vast amount of possible memory leaks, segfaults, crashes and minor issues have been fixed
- General improvements regarding code stability and performance in all areas
- General code clean-up in all areas to simplify adding future features And more.
What To Look For In Future Versions
While not a necessity of this release the next version of Kodi (16.0) will force Windows users to upgrade their directX version to 11. This may upset some users who are running on older equipment but the Kodi team has assured that this won’t be the result as their program only uses low level features.