A few months ago Kodi was king, an unstoppable force in the quest for free online streaming content. 

But much has changed since the heady days of simply customising an Android-enabled device and watching box office movies, live sporting events and other copyrighted material without forking out a subscription fee. 

Ongoing legal action with sellers of so-called 'Kodi boxes', the recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union which decreed that anyone streaming illegally copied film or TV shows is breaking the law and the ever-increasing list of third-party add-on developers being pursued by authorities across the globe puts more than just a taint on the once incomparable Kodi. 

Gazette & Herald:

And don't forget the possibility of facing ten years in jail for getting caught using illegal streams courtesy of the Digital Economy Act 2017 - the Bill was made an Act of Parliament in April.

To be clear, Kodi itself is perfectly legal - it carries no content, but it can be customised with third-party add-ons to allow access to illegal streams. 

But in recent weeks those streams have been disappearing and dominating the chat in online forums due to their dwindling reliability and availability. 

Enter the not-so-young pretender, Mobdro. 

Gazette & Herald:

Mobdro is an Android app, capable of streaming live channels and on-demand content that includes popular TV shows, movies and live sports.

The app isn't listed in the app store, but the APK (Andriod application package) is freely available online and can be installed on any device in a few clicks with a bit of know-how. 

Mobdro has been around for several years, but has so far evaded the copyright enforcers. It's versatility means it can be loaded onto Android Smartphones, Tablets, Windows PCs and TV streaming devices like Google's Chromecast or Amazon's Fire TV Stick and played through a regular television.

The app offers both a 'freemium' and a paid-for premium version, but the premium version is only needed if you want to put it on a Chromecast.

Gazette & Herald:

Before you can watch anything on Mobdro, you must agree to the app's terms and conditions, which state that it is designed to "crawl the web for free streams" and capture them in order for users to watch.

The disclaimer also adds: "Mobdro has no control whatsoever nor may it be held liable for the content or location of the streams, which shall be the sole responsibility of the pages on which they are hosted.

"Should the holder of a copyright consider that her/his right have[sic] been breached, she/he must address the source to request its withdrawal."

There is currently no Mobdro official release for non-jailbroken iOS devices, which means it's not possible to download and install on iPhones or iPads - but there are similar apps available.