Kodi Xbox One alpha app not without limitations

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While the UWP alpha version of the Kodi 18 app looks the same across Windows 10 and the Xbox, there are some limitations to what it can do.

Image courtesy Kodi

Last night, we reported that a Kodi Xbox One alpha app had been released and this morning Kodi has released a post detailing some of the features, issues, and caveats. Of course, the post starts off talking about the past and Kodi’s roots on the original Xbox first as Xbox Media Player before morphing into XBMC and finally Kodi. As the developers mention, hope for XMBC/Kodi on the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One was pretty much all but lost until Microsoft announced the UWP (Universal Windows Platform). If you’re unfamiliar, UWP is Microsoft’s platform for allowing developers to develop an app or game once and have it run on multiple devices like Windows 10 computers, Xbox One consoles, and even tablets and phones.

Even so, Kodi didn’t expect it to be an easy road but were surprised that with a few minor adjustments, they were able to re-package the 32-bit version of Kodi and launch it on the Windows Store back in September 2016. Focus then turned towards building the 64-bit version of Kodi and — with the assistance of Microsoft — some of Kodi’s developers further explored and started laying the groundwork for a UWP version of Kodi as well. Just to give you an idea of the process, Kodi began its trek to a UWP app back in December 2016.

Back in June, the 64-bit version of Kodi 18 Leia was launched and work on the UWP application for Windows 10 picked up and here we are, a year later, with a UWP version of Kodi for Windows 10 and the Xbox One. As is the goal with UWP apps, Kodi looks the same on Windows 10 as it does on the Xbox One which means a better experience for users who use it across multiple platforms. However, there are some limitations to what the UWP version of Kodi can and can’t do (as I discovered last night after poking around a bit).

What you should really understand and keep remembering is that it is still in early stages of development and has very rough edges, might not be as stable as the regular version and may even be missing some functions. Due to the nature of how UWP works our hands are tied in some areas. Some parts are not even finished yet and our developers are still working on getting it up to the regular standard. As of this writing there’s limited access to only what’s part of your Video and Music folders. Network support is limited to only NFS:// shares. No access to the Blu-ray drive to start the disc or even an attached storage drive. There might still be problems with certain general python modules that are used by add-ons and we are finding and reporting them to the developers as testing progresses. I’m sure there’s more that might not work as intended yet as there are so many features it just will take a while to go over them. We cannot promise to what extend we can get every feature working as it all depends on what is available to us developers.

That being said, I was able to easily install a repository to get a couple add-ons loaded to test out the Kodi Xbox One alpha app functionality. I was, however, unable to connect my Drobo 5N2 storage/media streaming NAS but haven’t looked into it that deeply yet. Knowing that the UWP version currently only supports NFS, I’m hoping there’s an easy way to hook into that from the Drobo for media streaming. Blu-ray and attached storage support is also a big missing feature, but I’m sure it’ll only be a matter of time before those get added in as other Xbox One apps currently support external storage.

Either way, it is an alpha version and on the surface it looks like a pretty good start to bringing Kodi back to where it started — on Microsoft’s Xbox consoles.

Have you tried the Kodi Xbox One alpha app on your Xbox One yet? What bugs or missing features have you found? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

  Source: Kodi
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