Today, July 2, 2016, the development team behind the popular Kodi open-source and cross-platform media center software has announced the release of the second Alpha build for the upcoming Kodi 17 “Krypton” series.
Work on Kodi 17 started in early December 2015, but it took the developers about six months to push an Alpha build to public testers, which should have arrived in May 2016. Two weeks ago, on June 21, they announced that there are only ten days left until the first Alpha hits the streets.
Well, today is the tenth day, but we didn’t get the first Alpha. Instead, we can download the second Alpha milestone, which should be more stable and offer us an early taste of what’s coming later this year in Kodi 17. This happened because of some code issues that needed to be fixed first.
“Several years ago we set a path that we wanted to improve our code base instead of just slapping on new features and this release will certainly be no exception to that goal. Certain parts of our code underwent a complete overhaul or in some cases even went through a blender to be almost rebuild from the ground up,” said Martijn Kaijser.
What’s new in Kodi 17 Alpha 2
It looks like a total of 39 developers have worked on Kodi 17 so far, and since Kodi 16, they managed to add a huge number of changes, and it would be impractical for us to list here. In numbers, there were 1179 pull-requests, holding 3735 commits that were spread over 6679 files.
The big changes in Kodi 17 are the two new default skins promised since last year, namely Estuary and Estouchy, which is a touch enabled skin (you can see them in action in the gallery at the end of the article), as a drop-in replacement for the now old Confluence skin.The home screen got revamped a little and now features a “smartplaylist” implementation, which will display things based on your preferences.
Moreover, a lot of work was put into enhancing the code for how skins work, which means that most of the existing third-party skins will need to be adapted for Kodi 17, and many popular once already are, including Aeon Nox 5, Transparency, Amber, Rapier, Titan, Mimic, and Confluence.
But there are many other new features coming to Kodi 17, including a new Video Player component with numerous improvements to playback of live streams and hardware acceleration for DVD playback, support for choosing a different video stream, if available, thanks to the new video stream selection functionality, as well as Input Stream add-ons.
Last but not least, the PVR (Personal Video Recorder) feature is now much easier to use, HD awesomeness audio support arrived for the Android port of Kodi, which has been updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop or later, including Android 6.0 Marshmallow, many enhancements to the Add-on Manager, Music library improvements, a more user-friendly Setting section, and many many other changes.
You can download Kodi 17 Alpha 2 right now via our website, but please try to keep in mind that this is a pre-release version, not suitable for those who want to deploy a stable and reliable media center solution. The final release will be out in a few months from today, along with the new LibreELEC edition for Raspberry Pi and x86 devices.