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Full Version: Windows Equivalent of StartAndroidActivity()?
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I have a nice Kodi setup on Android and one of the things I've done is integrate the Netflix and Amazon Prime Video apps into my setup by customising my Mimic skin's home menu to add entries for those apps with the actions implemented via StartAndroidActivity, e.g. the menu action for Netflix is simply...

StartAndroidActivity(<Netflix-App-ID>)

For various reasons I'm considering switching my Kodi box to a Windows Mini PC, mainly because I have a TV tuner and would like to run a PVR backend to get live pause and rewind and I'd prefer the elegance of it all running on the same system. I also know Windows better so it will be easier to do some other stuff.

My problem is that in Windows 10 there isn't really any supported living room ("lean back") interface so I want Kodi to do that for me and be able to launch all the Windows apps that I care about from Kodi menu or submenu items hence my search for a Windows equivalent of StartAndroidActivity().

I have found other threads talking about the now-defunct but still out there Advanced Launcher and also "Advanced Emulator Launcher" but I quite like elegant simplicity and the Mimic skin allows the user to edit whatever they want into the action field for a menu item which is why I am hoping there might be some equivalent to StartAndroidActivity() that would allow me to do the callouts and presumably get control returned to Kodi afterwards very simply.

My maybe crazy Plan B is to run an instance of Android using virtualbox(https://www.howtogeek.com/164570/how-to-...irtualbox/) to host my Kodi, Netflix and Amazon Prime apps (those are the only 2 external apps that I really care about) and run the PVR backend and offer NAS services to the rest of my network from the base Windows OS. (Yes, I know that Plex on Android can now advertise NAS folders but it assigns the password and for various reasons I want to be able to assign the password so it's not ideal and is my second reason for considering a switch to Windows.)

Any thoughts, suggestions, experiences or ideally a pointer to the built-in function I am hoping to find (which I fear might not exist since my googling didn't find it) would be much appreciated. Thanks.

- Julian
I don't use Windows, but couldn't you use RunScript('path/to/script') to call a small python script that starts a Windows app with subprocess.call ['C:\\path\\to\\executable.exe'] ?  One python script per executable to run and then map each script into the action field for the relevant entry.

Seems like a better solution than running a VM with Android running in it, although, not using Windows, there may well be pitfalls that I have not considered (Kodi wanting to remain 'on top' for instance).  It is however, the simplest method I could think of.
(2018-09-13, 19:03)black_eagle Wrote: [ -> ]I don't use Windows, but couldn't you use RunScript('path/to/script') to call a small python script that starts a Windows app with subprocess.call ['C:\\path\\to\\executable.exe'] ?  One python script per executable to run and then map each script into the action field for the relevant entry.

Seems like a better solution than running a VM with Android running in it, although, not using Windows, there may well be pitfalls that I have not considered (Kodi wanting to remain 'on top' for instance).  It is however, the simplest method I could think of.
 Thanks but I've actually found an even simpler way. All I did was enter ...

XBMC.System.Exec(""C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe"")

... in the action field for one of the home menu entries in the Mimic skin. I picked the VLC Windows app fairly randomly as a test and it worked, it launched the app and when I closed the app it reverted back to Kodi full screen perfectly. Admittedly the transition was ugly, it actually redisplayed the whole Windows desktop with VLC on top and running, but I suspect that if I had it set to full screen and had the taskbar set to auto-hide it would only have shown me the very top windows bar and if I had invoked an app with full f11/kiosk mode it would have taken over the whole screen just like Kodi does,

I fear though that this might end up having been a dead end anyway because the Netflix app on Windows isn't very remote-control friendly anyway and Amazon Prime Video has to be accessed through the web site which also isn't very remote-friendly. Maybe the slightly inelegant method of running Android in a VM is going to be the only solution. I should at least try it I suppose, that might not even work because I'm not sure what version of the Netflix and Amazon Video apps the Play Store would be willing to give me when I access it from Android running on a VM, I wouldn't want touch-enabled versions I would want remote-optimised Android TV versions like I have on my nVidia Shield. The only thing to do is try.

As far as the aspect of getting Kodi on Windows to invoke and then get control back from an external Windows program that seems to be surprisingly easy provided that one is using a Kodi skin that has very flexible options for customising the hope page menu so problem solved re the subject of this thread I think.