I will be glad to answer your questions in full transparency - to clear everything up, and to help those who are in 'panic mode'. Many may be wondering why the changes have occurred, and many are upset.
These addons that are on the public repository that you mention, do the new addons automatically get added or do we have to do our own research to find whats what?
The public repositories will generally maintain all the latest kodi addons (aswell as older/dead/no longer active addons), this includes adding new addons when they are released. This is the same concept as the 'super repo'. They are generally databases that contain nearly every kodi addon in existence, and in our experience, are very fast to add new kodi addons into the list.
The only thing you need to do 'research' on, is what are the new addons to install (based on the content that you are wanting). As there are over 1000 kodi addons in the public repositories, you obviously dont need them all - nor will they all be working - nor will the names of the addons be related to what they do (this is why its not a good idea to just install any addon based on its name - its best to do a quick google search to find specific addons that you would like).
For example, the gentlemen above 'etc' has noted that he has installed 'Exodus', and its working, but its not working very well (or as good as it used too). If you were to do a little research or a simple google search - you will find that the developer of Exodus has disappeared, and the Exodus addon has stopped working. However, the Exodus add on in the public repositories is a modified one which has been 'fixed' by another developer. (hence why it still works now, well partially). If you do a little more research, you will find that there is a "new version of Exodus / better than Exodus" kodi addon called "Elysium".
Installing the new addon "Elysium" would be the solution for those who are wanting "Exodus", such as the poster 'etc' above.
The same goes with other addons. A google search for "istream not working" or "123 movies not working" will bring up results that "iStream" has been closed, and a new developer has re-opened it, fixed it, optimized it, and released it under the name "duckpool". Duckpool is now "based off iStream", and is created by the same developer who created "123movies" - so if your a fan of this developers work, you may be interested to check out his new addons.
So the solution would be to install the new addon "duckpool" for those who are wanting "istream" or "123movies".
I hope this makes sense, and that you catch my drift - it is very simple to find the names of new addons, and to install them manually.
Secondly, is there another way of having your favourite/common addons on the homepage like now rather than being hidden away in the favourites. The thing is that everytime there is a software update we have to clear the data which also clears all the favourites which is a pain and not very user friendly.
This would be considered the easiest way.. There is a menu called 'favorites' on the home screen, it is actually the first menu item. (if you are on an older version of supermax ,then the favorites may be hidden away somewhere else. In the current version (and the previous version), the first menu on the homescreen is the favorites list. so anything that you add to the favorites will appear there, on the home screen.
Adding an addon, folder, or anything to the favorites is very easy
Please see here for instructions; https://droidworld.com.au/question/how- ... favorites/
I personally can add everything i need to my favorites list in less than 30 seconds
- so not a big issue on this one
now that you guys wont be adding/maintaining the content in this software which is primarily the addons, what's the difference between someone having a payed licence for your software and the free Kodi which is available to anyone?
We will always maintain the software and the content - this includes the overall build, system tweaks, third party legal addons & third party legal channels. See examples below;
1. if you were not using our service, and had an android box running android 4.4 kitkat (there are many - including the MINIX X8H Plus) - you would be forced to throw it away and buy a new box - since kodi only supports boxes with android 5 and above now.
See this page for info on what we have been involved with and to help the community: https://droidworld.com.au/question/new- ... oad-links/
If you were using standard Kodi - you will also not achieve automatic frame rate switching, or HD Audio, or 4K playback, or other hardware accelerated playback (1080P) successfully on MANY boxes
Since we have now released our custom Kodi for free to the public.. it can be used against us, to support your argument - but we agreed to do that out of good faith
2. if you dont install the supermax package (main package via wizard) - then you will face many issues with the standard kodi in regards to kodi addons. This includes 'dependencies not met' errors, and a lot more. Since there have been many repositories disappear from talented developers, it is now harder than ever to actually find dependencies, modules & other scripts which a large amount of kodi addons depend on. (these modules, scripts, service plugins etc do not provide any content, and they will not show in the 'addons' list - however, they are working in the background - addons use them to be able to do certain functions). we provide and maintain every module and service which the majority of kodi addons require (it wouldnt be as simple as installing an addon and have it working - most people will take hours of trying and give up to get things working)
3. supermax will still install and configure many legal addons, which many of you use - in our elegant and easy to use interface. see this quote which i like, from the droidworld site;
Think of the SuperMax Wizard build as the ‘base’ form of your Media HUB. Here’s a great way to put it: You buy a new Mercedes Benz – it’s not any car, it’s your pride and joy. Your Mercedes Benz has features and qualities like no other vehicle. You then add tasty ‘goodies’ to your Mercedes, such as new wheels, or maybe an exhaust system. The SuperMax Wizard build is the Mercedes Benz – it provides you with all the essentials, is unique & has qualities like no other. It has all the service modules which any third party addon would require, to ensure that you never get an error like “dependencies not met” when attempting to install a third party addon.
You can see what the new build looks like, with only legal content here (some people have mistakenly thought that there are no addons anymore - this is not the case): https://droidworld.com.au/droidworld-wizard/
I think this is much more attractive, and a much better start than a 'vanilla kodi' (normal kodi with nothing inside of it) - rather, its an impressive starting point for any user.
4. using supermax, you have some exclusive addons which are not available to the public. This includes supermax tv (USA and UK), supermax sports, supermax greek tv, supermax turkish tv, supermax yugoslavia (macedonia, albania, serbia, bosnia etc), supermax arabic tv, supermax italian tv, australian channels, NZ channels, supermax world tv (which currently consists of spanish and Portuguese categories - but there will be more coming, such as indian pakistan french etc). & much more.
This is all third party content which is legal, and free to air - maintained by supermax, and available for you to use with no manual configuration required.
The fully maintained software package was the main selling point which attracted me to you guys when I was looking for my device, otherwise there were many cheaper options on ebay. If it means introducing a subscription to have things back like they were before, I'd gladly pay it.
Before answering this one, i would just like to make this point clear: Please note that supermax is not apart of your purchase at droidworld. Supermax should be considered a totally separate entity, and a third party - really a 'non profit' - as we have never taken any subscription fees or payments at all. We do this purely as a hobby. Since there is an overwhelming amount of people wanting to use supermax, and contacting droidworld for this (or people going to droidworld for help about boxes purchased elsewhere) - they have been kind enough to not tell people "you need to buy a box from us" (supermax is based off the original droidworld wizard which was discontinued a very long time ago) - rather, a small one time payment to create an account for them and provide ongoing technical support to these people, of whom are not their customers altogether. (it is easier to simply provide supermax than to try and fix someone elses kodi installation).
Cheaper boxes on eBay - this one always pops up:
To compare buying a box from droidworld (or other real & local shops), versus eBay, there are many factors to look at;
a. Yes you can buy a $99 box from eBay - and a 'box' is all it will be. This will be a 'no name' box, with 'no name' components.
I can tell you with pure honesty and first hand experience, that there are MANY issues with the cheap boxes. This ranges from WiFi range, to WiFi speed, to firmware problems, to google play services problems, apps not compatible, playback issues due to bad firmware, to hardware failures & many more. The % of hardware failures is very high on these cheap boxes from ebay.
If the cheaper boxes were a good option, i would think that droidworld would stock them too - but they do not. The reason for this is because if a company is actually providing a real warranty service - then they need to carry reliable devices. Otherwise they will be losing in the long run, and operating at a loss, with warranty issues with these cheap units.
Also keep in mind that many of the cheap units are produced by over 5 different factories (sometimes more). They have the same external shell, but you will find different components and different quality based on the factory, and the batch. eBay sellers are on eBay to make a quick buck - and you will find that the majority will be holding the cheapest variant, as they have sourced the cheapest price.
A classic example (not a box, but a remote controller) is the popular "Rii i8 keyboard" - the difference in quality between the fakes/clones and original is hard to see from the outside - but definitely there. The fakes have poor range, the mouse cursor plays up, battery life is bad etc. Also the USB receiver from a fake Rii i8 keyboard will control any Rii i8 keyboard (causes interference) - so if you bought 1 remote for the lounge, and one for the bedroom - whoever is using their remote in the lounge it will also be controlling the box in the bedroom at the same time. Original ones are programmed for individual USB receivers. 2.4g interference can also cause problems with wireless telephones, or wifi internet modems/routers etc.
b. You will find a huge range of 'fully loaded' or 'jail broken' android boxes on eBay. Firstly, there is no such thing as 'jail broken' for android - it is just a marketing gimmick. Secondly, the 'fully loaded' boxes from ebay will just have a bunch of pre installed addons, many outdated of which no longer work - and some that do work, that will eventually stop working after a month or 2 due to no updates. They just put a bunch of crap inside without any knowledge about anything, to lure customers in buying thinking that they will have the world of free content forever, for just $99
c. If you dont have the 'know how', the box you purchased from ebay will be obsolete within 2 months when everything 'loaded' stops working - then you will try another seller (forking out another $100 or $150), or pay someone to 'fix it', and it will be an ongoing nightmare moving forward. There is no support team to help you or give you advice, you're totally on your own.
d. Many eBay sellers accounts show that they are shipping from Australia - but in reality they are shipping from china direct. In most cases these are chinese ebay accounts, that have the shipping location set to australia. If you check the feedback of these sellers, you will find many negative or neutral in relation to the shipping actually coming from china.
It is impossible to compete with such businesses, lets do a fake example to explain this;
Box A cost price is $80
he is selling Box A on eBay shipped free from china for $99
Profit = $19
Sold = over 1000 sold
outcome = excellent
purchase history disappears from ebay after 90 days - if customer has an issue , they dont remember which ebay seller they bought it from
Box A cost price is $80
he is selling Box A on eBay with 'free shipping' from australia for $99
Shipping actually costs a minimum of $9 for standard shipping for over 500grams
We're down to $90
GST of 10% payable by businesses on all sales is $9
We're down to $81
Profit = $1
Customer always remembers this australian seller, even 11 months down the track for warranty issues.
Can this work? No
(keep in mind the figures above are fake and just for the example. MINIX units for example have a very low profit margin - this is always the case for brand name devices)
So if you have a warranty issue from an eBay seller, you will first need to;
a) get the seller to agree to repair your box
b) trust that the seller will actually do the repair and send your box back to you
c) ship your box to china, which can be expensive
d) wait up to 3 weeks for it to arrive to china
e) wait up to X for the seller to let you know that the device was repaired
f) wait up to X to possibly get the device back (while possibly having to cover the return shipping expense)
This ordeal is usually avoided by many - and many will just throw the box away and buy a new one. This all adds up - you could have just bought a proper one with real support from the beginning
6. droidworld can be compared to the likes of a major retail store - you will always find a cheaper price than a retail store on ebay. But everybody knows that a retail store only stocks quality products and will always be there for warranty problems. Retail stores have expenses, that ebay sellers do not. This is the same as droidworld, and it consists of local business expenses, rent and outgoings, gst on sales (ie; if you bought a box for $200, then $20 of that is to the government, not to the retailer) - this also includes the actual real warranty service.
To my knowledge there are over 100 boxes which have been totally replaced for brand new ones over the years (this even includes MINIX boxes), to droidworld customers. Many occasions it can be the customers fault for plugging in a wrong power supply which will fry the unit, and then pretend that it just 'stopped working'. There are losses involved with this - so the sale price must take into consideration the potential losses down the track, and cover the cost of outgoing expenses. This is how real businesses operate, otherwise they cant fulfill their promises of warranty - even if the box is actually being shipped from australia. You will find some sellers advertise 2 or 3 years warranty (ive seen a few china listings with that) - but who are we kidding ?
Another example of service difference is the popular "QBOX" which was a top seller at droidworld - then suddenly vanished. Some of you may already know why, as many asked when it will be back in stock. The short summary is this was due to the manufacturer of the QBOX changing the components to much cheaper variants. This included the wifi chip, hardware protection circuit, and overall everything in the board. It was a sneaky (common) move to lower the costs - but droidworld noticed right away, and ceased stocking them.
I can go on , but i think thats enough
I haven't downloaded the update yet but with regards to adding and maintaining addons it seems like a bit of a backflip. Is it a money thing or because your hands are tied due to a crackdown on piracy thing?
It is due to new laws being introduced in the EU & UK as part of a 'crackdown' on streaming (cable providers are losing customers rapidly) - which most countries will likely follow suit. We made a very hard choice, which ofcourse is upsetting, even to myself - as i said, this is my hobby which i do with pleasure. It is not illegal for a user to stream something from the internet (this is explained in a thread on the forum called 'is supermax legal'). It is actually noted in many legal documents (laws) in many countries, that streaming is not illegal (the stream is temporarily viewed and not saved, stored, downloaded, shared or copy kept). This is the case for most countries around the world. It was also common knowledge that if someone links to third party copyrighted material, or creates an app which embeds or links third party sites which host content was perfectly fine. This is because it is the responsibility of the host/site of whom is actually HOSTING the material to ensure that he/she is not hosting copyrighted material. It is not the responsibility of the end user, nor is it possible to identify which sites are authorised to host specific content. We explain this in an example in the other thread mentioned above, a easy to understand example is this: if you as a user, visited an adult tube video website, and clicked on a video to watch - you do not know whether that video is authorised to be on that site, or whether it is copyright, or whether it is a stolen video etc. You as a user are not responsible for that - you are streaming content on public domain. It is the responsibility of the adult tube site to ensure that they are hosting material which is allowed, and to take down at the request of rightsholders, material which is not allowed. However, what appears to have changed / being changed now - is that for service providers, developers, app makers etc (even non-profit), they are finding that even those who have made an app or website or anything which simply LINKS to third party websites hosting material, are responsible for copyright. TVADDONS which were the major players behind exodus, indigo and other popular kodi addons were sued in a US court recently - along with "Shani", a very popular and talented developer who created addons such as 'ZemTV' 'f4m Proxy' etc. It is no longer an option to pre-install third party addons which link to copyrighted material anymore. Users must install these addons manually if they wish to use them.
Please note that the above is not legal advice, nor is it the same rules/laws for every country. Every country has its own rules/laws - for example, in Australia it is permissible to use a VPN to bypass geo-blocked content.
Here is a quote from the Malcom Turnbull website:
Q: Many Australians use a VPN to access Netflix in the US. Is it illegal for me to use a VPN to access Netflix?
The Copyright Act does not make it illegal to use a VPN to access overseas content.
While content providers often have in place international commercial arrangements to protect copyright in different countries or regions, which can result in ‘geoblocking’, circumventing this is not illegal under the Copyright Act.
The EU (europe) have also now mentioned that it is illegal for a user to stream copyrighted content (this is not the case for Australia and other countries). This is part of a major crackdown campaign to scare users (as users are never the target), and to force developers, app makers etc to shut down. They are and have always been struggling to take down the big guys, such as 'the pirate bay' or sites which are actually hosting the said content - so they have turned to taking down the 'little guys' who point to the 'big guys' - if that makes sense. The point of this is clear and simple: they know that piracy will never end - and when one app shuts down another 5 will open under different names. However, they want it to be HARD for the 'end user' , such as yourselves - to access said content. Kodi for a while felt like a subscription service - that's how good and easy it was. They want to break that - because they know people don't want to research, people don't want to inconvenience themselves, people want something that will 'just work' and always work and be reliable. So if app developers keep needing to close down apps and open new ones - users like you will go back to cable subscriptions. That's my take on it.
**Supermax has never condoned or encouraged piracy. It was (and still is, depending on your jurisdiction) legal to STREAM such third party content. It may be 'immoral' , although permissible. You must understand that supermax is not seen as an 'end user' - and this is the reasoning to abandon the 'grey area' addons in our builds. Supermax now only installs addons which provide access to 100% legal third party content.
I would recommend that people start to use a VPN to protect your privacy. You can read more about what a VPN is and which VPN provider to choose by following this link: viewforum.php?f=36