I remember back in the day when VLC was just the necessary media player for pretty much any Mac owner. Since then, the free and open source cross-platform multimedia player has expanded beyond Mac and PC to mobile devices running Android and iOS. Today, the VideoLAN organization has pushed out VLC for Android 2.0, and it’s probably the app’s biggest release since its first out-of-beta release in February of last year

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VLC for Android 2.0 adds numerous features, notably:

  • Support for Android N runtime permissions
  • Network browsing and playback
  • Video playlists
  • Subtitles downloader
  • Pop-up video view and support for multiwindows
  • An optional history panel
  • Favorite network shares and URLs
  • Merge between the Android TV and Android packages

This is a pretty huge update. Network browsing and playback will let you playback from network shares and local servers using a variety of protocols (DLNA/UPnP, Windows Shares, FTP(S), SFTP, NFS), video playlists are a lot like the previous audio playlists, you can now download subtitles directly from OpenSubtitles, and the history features — which was in older releases of the app — is now back. The options of the video player are also improved, and now the Android TV and standard Android packages are merged.

Perhaps the coolest feature in this update — and probably the one that will most change how you use the app — is support for popup videos. VLC says that it now supports popup view on tablets and that it also supports Samsung’s MultiWindow and LG’s Dual Window extensions to allow multiple applications on the same screen. In the screenshots below, you can see the popup window working in Android N.

You can grab VLC 2.0 on the Play Store right now for free.

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