There used to be a time when I wanted the latest and greatest release of whatever software I was using. I used to love trying out the latest development builds, just to see what the cool new features are.
Even though I’m not as focused on the bleeding-edge releases anymore, I know a lot of you are.
By far the most common question I get is how to download the latest development release of Kodi.
You see, Kodi releases nightly development builds which have all of the latest-and-greatest features and bug-fixes that their development team have been working on that day.
So if you want to test out the absolute latest version of Kodi, stick around to see how you can download the Kodi nightly builds. But first, let’s talk about whether you should.
Kodi Nightly vs. Release Builds
If you’re new to Kodi, you might be wondering what a nightly build is exactly.
To understand that, we need to get some terms straight first.
A Nightly, or Development Build is the ‘work-in-progress’ version of a software program. They’re often unstable and definitely not meant for general public use.
However, developers will release nightly builds so that some users can test them and provide feedback.
Beta Builds are more stable versions of Nightly builds, but still contain things that need to be worked out before they can be considered ‘stable.’
From here, developers may go straight into a Release Build, but there is often one final step. One or more Release Candidates may be made public for some final testing.
Release Candidates are very close to what you’ll see in the final version. The thought is to further expand the number of users that are testing the program to see if any major flaws appear.
Then, finally, we have a Release Build. This is the final product that most of us will download, whether it’s from an app store or directly from Kodi’s website.
In general, most users should stick to the release builds.
If you want to test out one of Kodi’s nightly builds, try to set up a different installation so you can play around with it, change settings and try different options.
That way, if something goes wrong, it won’t interrupt your main installation.
How to Install Kodi Nightly Builds
I have a full tutorial on how to install Kodi on your Android TV. There, the easiest method you should use is downloading directly through the Google Play Store.
However, that article also covers how to sideload Kodi directly from Kodi.tv.
The nightly Kodi builds are only available directly from their website, so that’s the method we’re going to be using here.
In this tutorial, I’m using screenshots from my Windows PC because it’s easier. However, the process is the same, no matter what operating system you use.
Again, if you have any questions, the article I link to above will walk you through the process in much more detail.
Step 1: Go to Kodi.tv
To start, we’re going directly to the official Kodi website: Kodi.tv.
You can use any internet browser to get there. Be warned, however, that some browsers (Puffin TV, for example) have removed the ability to download files.
If you don’t already use a browser for sideloading apps on your Android TV, I recommend using the Downloader app by AFTVNews. It has a built-in web browser and was specifically designed to make sideloading apps easy.
Step 2: Click the Download button
Once you get to Kodi.tv, click the Download button.
This is normally found in the upper right hand corner. However, on some devices, you may need to open the menu bar to find it.
Step 3: Choose Your Operating System
Once you get to the downloads page, select your operating system from the list.
If you’re installing this on an Android TV, select the Android icon to find both versions.
Step 3: Click on Development Builds
Once you select your operating system, the next screen will display the latest Release Build by default. To get to the Nightly Kodi Builds, click on the Development Builds tab.
Step 4: Download the Latest Nightly Kodi Build
There are several different versions of the nightly builds for each operating system. If you’re downloading this on an Android TV, you’re going to want to download the 32 Bit ARM version.
Most Android TV’s are built using ARM processor architecture. This includes popular chipsets like the Amlogic S905 and S922, as well as the NVIDIA Tegra family of processors.
Once you choose which version, the installation process will continue as normal.
Depending on your setup, you may be able to install Kodi directly from your Internet browser. If not, you may need to open your favorite Android file explorer and install it from there.
Remember, installing the nightly Kodi builds isn’t for everyone.
There’s nothing worse than getting excited to watch a movie or TV show and having Kodi crap out on you. That’s why I never recommend installing a nightly build on your main Kodi installation.
Keep it on a separate installation that you can play around with. That way you can safely test out the newest features without having to worry about breaking anything on your main installation.