Android Things Developer Preview 5

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Posted by Wayne Piekarski,
Developer Advocate for IoT

Today, we’re releasing Developer Preview 5 (DP5) of Android Things, which
includes the major change of being based on the upcoming Android O release.
Android Things is Google’s platform to enable Android Developers to create
Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and seamlessly scale from prototype to
production.

Android O

Android O is currently under Developer
Preview for phones and tablets, and DP5 is now based on this upcoming
release (previous releases were based on Android N). This means that your future
Android Things applications should target API 26 to work correctly on the
platform with our support libraries.

Hardware Changes

DP5 now adds support for the new NXP SprIoT
i.MX6UL design, as listed in our developer kits documentation.
With Intel discontinuing the Edison and Joule hardware
designs, these platforms are moving to legacy support. They will not continue to
receive the latest platform updates, but developers may continue to access the
DP4.1 system images from the Android Things Console.

An important goal of Android Things is to help developers seamlessly scale from
prototype to production. When we exit Developer Preview, we will differentiate
between hardware platforms targeted for prototyping-only and hardware reference
designs that can scale to production. Production-ready hardware will satisfy
Google’s security requirements and include long term support from the silicon
manufacturers. We will have more to share later on.

Improvements

With the move to the Android O codebase, there are new API features from Android
as well as specific features for Android Things. For those developers using
UserDriver APIs, you will need to add new permissions to your
AndroidManifest.xml. The documentation
contains details about the permissions needed for each driver type. DP5 also now
supports OpenGL ES 2.0 and WebView on the Raspberry Pi 3, which was a highly
requested feature from developers. We have also implemented dynamic
pin muxing for the Raspberry Pi 3, with pins being configured at runtime
depending on what features are being used.

Android Studio

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The samples for Android Things are now available directly in Android Studio for
browsing and importing. You can now go to File, New, Import Samples, and search
for Things to see everything that is available. We have a wide range of samples,
demonstrating how to interact with buttons, sensors, LEDs, and displays, as well
as implementing Google Assistant and TensorFlow.

Android Things Console

We recently launched
the Android Things
Console, which provides the ability to support over-the-air updates (OTA) to
Android Things devices. We have recently made a number of UX improvements to the
console to improve usability and functionality. DP5 is now available within the
Android Things Console, but the DP5 update will not be pushed automatically to
devices without your intervention. You will need to update your application for
DP5, then create a new update and push it via the console yourself.

Feedback

With Android Things being updated to Android O, significant changes have been
made to the platform. Please send us your feedback by filing bug
reports and feature
requests, and asking any questions on Stack
Overflow. To start using DP5, use the Android Things Console to
download system images and update existing devices. More information about the
changes are available in the release
notes. You can also join Google’s IoT
Developers Community on Google+, a great resource to get updates and discuss
ideas. Also, we have our new hackster.io
community, where everyone can share the amazing projects they have built!


Android Developers Blog

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