Home » HTPC » Kodi Amber Skin Review: ribbon Kodi Skin for touchscreens

Kodi Amber Skin Review: ribbon Kodi Skin for touchscreens

A super lightweight skin with an emphasis on elegance and responsiveness, the Kodi Amber skin, which you can get from the official XBMC/Kodi plugin repository is a good option for those who want a snappy and beautiful interface for their Kodi powered HTPC. It is compatible with all Kodi versions from Gotham and upwards, so if your media center runs one of these newer versions, according to our Amber skin review, this would be a great customization option. You may be asking yourself: what is it that sets the Kodi Amber skin apart from other similar skins? We will find out in this Kodi Amber skin review. [Read: 6 Best Kodi skins in 2015 to enhance your media center]

Kodi Amber skin menu
Beautiful and elegant background images please the eyes in the Kodi Amber skin

Amber skin review: Touchscreen skins don’t have to be simple

When you hear the words “touchscreen skin” you would perhaps think about big buttons made to be pressed by fingers and thumbs, with little or no detail, and an unassuming appearance. This is not the case for the Kodi Amber skin, which, albeit a Kodi touchscreen skin, comes off as a vibrant and aesthetically pleasant way of setting up your Kodi powered HTPC, no matter what device you use. Being a skin that includes touch support and is not as demanding, hardware-wise, the Kodi Amber skin makes a great option to handle your Kodi install on tablets and smartphones, as well as devices like the Raspberry Pi, with limited hardware capabilities; however, its elegant theme and the many visualizations it includes, make it ideal for just about any Kodi user, whether they use an Intel NUC barebones computer, an Android TV box or even a TV stick. [Read: CX-919 Android stick: Take your media center with you]

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  3. WeTek Play 2 Hybrid Media Center - $134.00
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  5. U2C Android TV Box - $95.99

Customization options for the Kodi Amber skin

Amber skin review favourites
Amber skin review: Favourites menu customization is a big plus.

A great feature this skin offers is the fact that you can customize the best Kodi addons of your setup to appear in your “Favourites” list. The Kodi Amber skin then shows your preferred addons in an horizontal ribbon above the main one, ready to be clicked, and you can also configure certain addons to appear as their own option on the Kodi Amber skin. This is extremely useful if you have a lot of addons installed, but only use a few of them; and because of it being totally customizable, you can just replace any plugins you won’t be using anymore with new ones. In this particular setup you can see there are direct accesses to some addons we have offered you install guides for, such as our Genesis addon install guide, YouTube addon install guide and even the guide to install Phoenix Kodi addon. Having high-content addons just one click away makes for a great HTPC experience, which this Kodi addon Amber definitely helps you get.

Amber Kodi shortcuts ribbon
You can set main menu shortcuts for any addon you like with the Kodi Amber skin

The ribbon can be set vertically and horizontally, and you can customize the background image for every item on the main menu. This allows you to perform actions like the one in the example above; set any addon to a button on the Kodi Amber skin ribbon, and then choose a fitting background to go with it; in this case, a downloaded image from the Internet. Other customization options for this Kodi touchscreen skin include several visualization options for media items -some of them allowing you to show or hide the media information, which also can be set to autoscroll after a short time-. In general, the visualization options offered by Amber are fluid, eye-catching and sober, making for a great media browsing experience. You can appreciate some more screenshots below:

Vertical Kodi Skin amber
The Amber skin allows you to set the menu vertically as well
Kodi skin icons Amber
Amber visualization: Icons
Amber XBMC skin Big Panel
Amber visualization: Big Panel
XBMC Amber skin Fanart
The Fanart visualization is really impressive on the Amber skin
Amber Kodi auto scroll
Information for media can be set to auto-scroll after some time

A small drawback can be appreciated while using this screen: it was impossible to click on a certain area of the progress bar in order to skip through video. To do this, you would use the fast forward and rewind buttons of the Amber Kodi skin, which feels somewhat dated and archaic, though it still gets the job done.

Amber skin for Kodi playback
Pause your media and you will get controls like these. Skipping through the video is not supported on the seeking bar.

Kodi Amber skin: Do you recommend it?

Kodi touchscreen skin Amber Fanart
Amber, an amazing Kodi touchscreen skin that looks good on any device.

When I started these Kodi skins reviews on our post about the 10 best Kodi skins for touchscreens, the Amber XBMC skin really impressed me. The choice of colors, the amazing visualizations -specially the one called FanArt, with the option to show the movie information on top, which you can see on the image above. I can truly imagine coming home from a work day and browsing my Kodi media while using this amazing interface. Easy on the eyes, with a nice color palette and theme, snappy fast and runs on almost any device. It’s almost hard to believe the Amber skin is free to use; however, it is a very good thing to know that it is.

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About the author

Alejandro

Alejandro is an electrical engineer, working as a software developer and part-time writer. He has a passion for technology, languages and games, and has been around the web since 2004.