It's been about a half a year since the last major release, but it might have all been worth it for those who use the app religiously. VideoLAN's latest version of VLC for Android is stuffed with updates to for networking, permissions, subtitles and more.
Previously, the most recent version of the media player app was VLC for Android 1.9.13 beta and that version came out last month. But the last major update was version 1.7.0, which saw VideoLAN strip the app of several Android permissions and deliver a new subtitle engine. Now, the organization has finally announced the next major update to Android version of the app.
— VideoLAN (@videolan) June 21, 2016
VideoLAN stripped those permissions from the last version of the app to prepare for the upcoming Android N, which will restructure the system for granting rights to apps. And with VLC for Android 2.0, the organization is taking that effort a step further, according to Jean-Baptiste Kempf, president of VideoLAN and a lead developer for VLC.
"The first good news is that we have decreased the number of dangerous permissions that VLC was using," Kempf says. "The only permission that is now considered as dangerous is the access to media files, which is expected for a media player."
Now the app supports everything, going back as far as Android 2.2, and its permissions comply with the next version of the mobile OS, which Google has been struggling to name. The rest of the update might be a bit more interesting for casual users, though just barely.
The update to VLC for Android also improves its Android TV interface, merging it with the app's standard look. For users with big-face phones and tablets, they can select the Android TV interface from the app's preferences menu.
VideoLAN's update wasn't only about looking at a future with Android N. The nonprofit also took a look at the mobile app's past and decided to restore the History feature, which was last seen in version 0.9.x of VLC for Android.
The organization also took time to fulfill a major request from users who had been calling for pop-up video.
"[Pop-up video is] now implemented and we do support Samsung MultiWindow and LG Dual Window extensions to allow 2 applications on the same screen," says Kempf.
Elsewhere in the update are improvements to the app's options, along with a streamlining of its portrait and landscape presentations. Users can also download subtitles directly from OpenSubtitles and create basic video playlists now.
Get it here.