If you’re a fan of XMBC for Android and the XMBC project in general, then you’re going to love the latest bit of news published over at the XMBC Blog. The XMBC team says that they are going back to their usual monthly development cycle, which means that users can expect a new version of XMBC to come out each and every single month. In fact, right now, as most people are still getting acquainted with XMBC 12 – Frodo, the team as well as a number of other developers are already hard at work on making the next version, XMBC 13 – codenamed Gotham.
There is currently a call for those with highly-developed art skills to come up with the relevant version images now for when it finally comes out. And at the same time, “the brave” are also called upon to test the resulting build that comes out of all the work done by the end of the month, to help streamline the software development process.
For now the most stable build is still the most recent one — XMBC 12 – Frodo — and from the February changelog, the XMBC Team has pulled out a number of noteworthy highlights:
For those familiar with AirPlay for video and audio, this is quite similar, except now you don’t need to be using an iOS device to push your content. You just need to check the box to turn on your UPnP server in XBMC under System->Services->UPnP and you can send your media anywhere that supports it.
This first cycle includes a slew of Android improvements. For starters, XBMC now controls native Android audio, so users don’t have to close XBMC, turn the volume up, re-open XBMC, and finally listen to whatever they were listening to. Instead, the audio is controlled like any other Android app (thanks to mcrosson). Second, XBMC for Android is no longer stuck facing one direction. If you flip your Android device 180 degrees, XBMC will flip with it (thanks to montellese).
The local iOS keyboard is already the default keyboard for XBMC, but now it has even more utility. It can accept any text from any iOS language, and it also supports the iOS clipboard copy and paste feature (thanks to ulion).
Dev Montellese continues his breakneck work of improving the XBMC library. With this cycle, he has added tags for tv shows and musicvideos, and he has also made it possible for those individuals who like to pick and choose each piece of media art individually to add alternative artwork (landscape, banner, etc.) without needing to use an addon like the automated Artwork Downloader. To use this feature, click “Choose art” on a piece of media’s info screen, and then select “Add art” at the bottom.
If you would like to learn about all of the changes introduced in the most recent stable version, XMBC has a list of all February milestones gathered all in one page. And as always, you may contribute through either donations or offering support through the user forums and submitting your own bug reports.