Kodi is releasing its first official UWP client for the Xbox One today. After bringing its desktop application to the Microsoft Store, the arrival of a true Universal Windows Platform application will give users access to the media player on the Xbox.
Developers of Kodi started planning the UWP version of their media player more than a year ago. In a blog post, one of the developers detailed the tedious process of porting their classic desktop code into the new UWP app while making sure support for third-party add-ons remains intact. It actually took months before the new UWP application started taking shape. “Around July 2017 the first faint life signs became visible of starting Kodi as a UWP application on regular Windows 10. From there on work slowly progressed on getting all bits and pieces into place getting Kodi grown up and getting it ready for the Xbox”, Kodi’s Martijn Kaijserintated on a blog post.
While Kodi on the Xbox One looks and works almost exactly like Kodi on any other platform, the functionality of it is a bit limited at the moment. The limitations are mostly due to the shortcomings of UWP, as some APIs are presumably missing from the platform, especially for the Xbox One where apps don’t necessarily have the same access to the core OS features like they would on the desktop.
“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,” Kaijserintated noted.
Kodi for the Xbox One seems like a pretty good start, and it will hopefully continue to mature so that it reaches a point where the classic desktop app can be replaced by the true UWP client sometime in the near future. In the meantime, you can try the Kodi for Xbox One preview from the Microsoft Store here.