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Kodi 18 Leia is finally here – these are the best new features

Great news, Kodi lovers! The completed, stable build of Kodi 18 Leia is now available to download. Following a long period in beta, the new version can be picked up on all supported platforms.

The headline feature is the support for retro gaming emulators, while there’s are new DRM decryption tools to enable content owners to make their subscription-based music and video services available via Kodi.

There’s also a new Music Library offering improved filtering and artwork support, the developers believe will encourage more people to try using the media centre as a music player for the first time. There’s also improved support for Blu-ray discs.

Related: Kodi and the law – what you need to know

Likewise there are live TV improvements and an improved Android TV interface, including full voice control functionality via the Google Assistant. The interface will also show users unwatched movies and unlisted to albums, as well as binge watching suggestions.

“Voice integration allows you to search for content with Google Assistant, using the same feature for “voice typing” wherever you see the traditional Kodi on-screen keyboard,” the company writes on its blog.

Related: how to install Kodi

However, it’s the retro gaming support that’s likely to be the most exciting feature. It includes support for emulators, as well as the requisite ROMs (digital game files) and game controllers like joysticks and gamepads.

In a post on the Kodi blog one Tuesday, the developers wrote: “…suffice it to say at this time that you now have a whole world of retro gaming at your fingertips, all from the same interface as your movies, music and TV shows. For the genuine experience as well, we’ve also introduced support for joysticks, gamepads, and other platform-specific controls, so the games will work just as was intended.”

Kodi says its plan is still to move to a “release early, release often” model, but such was the scale of the v18 update, it has taken a while to get it the completed version to the Kodi-loving masses.

You can upgrade to Kodi 18 Leia right now.

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