Simplicity is a new skin for XBMC that’s currently in development by the creators of my formerly favorite skin Shade. Simplicity is absolutely the most professional and polished XBMC skin I have used and packs in more features than any other two skins (apart from Shade) combined.
I was originally going to use Shade as the skin for this guide, but since Simplicity is developing so rapidly (and Shade is no longer being supported) I decided to use Simplicity from the start for the sake of consistency.
Note: One caveat here is that while Simplicity is still in development, it is reasonable to expect a few quirks and inconsistencies. With that said, I have been using it as my primary skin since mid-January, 2011 and have no plans to change back to Shade (let alone anything else).
To install Simplicity we’ll want to open up XBMC Media Center again. However, before doing so it’s time to make a mental note of something here.
XBMC makes heavy usage of the keyboard and focuses much less on the mouse (since it’s intended to be used with a controller or remote). As such, it’s a good idea to become familiar with what keys provide which function in XBMC as not all functionality is convenient (let alone available) from a mouse.
So, with that in mind, the first key to find and remember is the backward slash “\“. This will switch XBMC Media Center from full screen to windowed mode (and back again) and should be quite handy while following this guide.
So now, once you’ve found the backslash key, fire up XBMC and put it in windowed mode. Now with your arrow keys navigate to system and hit Enter. Again, use your arrow keys to scroll down to Add-ons and hit Enter. Now, using the same method as above (ignore that pointing device!), select Get Addons, then XBMC.org Add-ons, and then Skin.
Under the Skin screen find Simplicity, select it and hit Enter on the Install button.
Simplicity should now be Downloading and Installing. Once it completes you should receive a prompt asking if you would like to switch to this skin. Select Yes. Simplicity should now come up as the skin though you will still be viewing the Add-ons just as you were before. You can now hit the Escape key to return to the Settings screen, and again will take you to the Home screen.
Take some time to explore and get comfortable with basic keyboard navigation (Arrow keys, Enter, and Escape) and the layout of the interface and options before moving on to Setup (next page) as I will expect from here on out you know how to get from one place to another using the keyboard.