XBMC reaches new territory, iPad, iPhone and Apple TV2

The proof of concept was shown off in December but there was no news about when a final release might appear. Today, after two and half months in the making and taking many hours to perfect, the open source media centre, XBMC, is officially available for devices using the iOS platform. This includes the Apple iPad, iPhone 4 and TV2. 

Earlier today Neowin spoke with the lead developer for all things Apple on XBMC, Scott Davilla, and asked him what he saw as the main obstacle when developing the new version, "The main issue we ran into was lack of a public hardware decoder APIs but when we discovered how to use the private VideoToolBox APIs, the reality of porting XBMC became certain.". As the new platform runs on the ARM A4 based chips, it was crucial to get it working with a hardware decoder as the CPU isn't able to decode High Definition video.

Although XBMC has been available for the older Intel x86/OS-X based platform for many months, it had yet to make an appearance on the newer devices. There were previous mentions that the £101 device was not able to support 1080p, but when I asked, Davilla corrected the rumor "it can decode 1080p just fine, currently display is 720p but I also have not looked into display limits.". The future plans for the release are to perfect playback and look at the iPad 2 when its available.

Image Credit: XBMC

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10 Comments

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Yeah could be nice playing in 1080p, thats the only BUT for now, but man playing all the formats supported by XBMC, especially MKVs, i dont care about DVR or PVR, the PS3 works reallty nice but needs third party software.

All especially after the price of the Apple TV (99 Bucks, it's even cheaper that getting an HTPC, even a cheap low end one). Now You just need a Big hard disk (1TB or 2 TB) to move all the movies from your PC, Now really the Apple TV 2 hardware seems useful.

And on top of that the remote. now only we need a keyboard.

I'll be looking forward on this!

The things is XBMC is nothing more fancy front-end, It lack any real DVR/PVR functionality so there is useless.

Amazing work. 2.5 months to make a working release? thats great. bugs and slowdowns will likely be squashed on a per- device basis. Its on the Ax series of apple processors, so it can only get better now. Seems like they just ported it and will add 'idevice' specific options in future releases.

This almost makes me want to get an apple TV2 device as XBMC with HD is very nice.

Ruciz said,

This almost makes me want to get an apple TV2 device as XBMC with HD is very nice.

Same here. XBMC looks great, and the Apple TV2 is so compact, with a nice remote too.
Although I'm waiting for a few more youtube videos before I consider taking the plunge.

acnpt said,

Same here. XBMC looks great, and the Apple TV2 is so compact, with a nice remote too.
Although I'm waiting for a few more youtube videos before I consider taking the plunge.

I think I'll hold off until the next Apple TV, unless they get 1080 output working

Installed it on my iPad. It's an amazing achievement but it's far from perfect at the moment. I don't know how to trigger the context menu so I can't remove a video source (without ssh'ing and editing config files I guess).

Also it forces you to use the xbmc keyboard for input, which is quite small and hard to use.

Finally everything is slightly laggy, menu transitions, keyboard presses etc all take a bit longer than what they should. I'm hoping they iron it all out in future updates. They'll probably add gesture support for the iPad as well.

If your in the UK and after an Apple TV 2 Amazon are actually cheaper than Apple, you can get it delivered for £90 - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Apple-...040GIZUC/ref=dp_ob_title_ce

Personally I think XBMC will really shine once we get the A5 devices (Apple TV 3, iPad 2).