Google has released the latest preview version of “Android Things”, DP 8, which stabilized the API surface for the upcoming stable release.
Android Things is Google’s IoT platform aimed to allow developers to write IoT applications similarly to how they write mobile apps by integrating the usual Android API and Google’s cloud services with a specific Things Support Library aimed to provide access to sensors and actuators, and to allow developers to inject custom hardware events into their apps through user drivers. Android Things uses Google Weave as its communication platform.
A number of existing APIs have been removed, including the ScreenManager API. Additionally, the IOT_LAUNCHER intent filter, previously used to manage launching of apps on device boot, is replaced by CATEGORY_HOME. Also, dangerous permissions are not automatically granted on boot anymore and developers can manage them using a new configuration panel in the developer console.
According to Google, there will be no more breaking changes in the Android Things API before version 1.0 is released.
Other improvements brought by Android Things RC are:
- Improved developer console, which now allows to unpublish the current OTA build to deal with issues discovered in the field. It also provides visual management of available storage and allows to manage fonts and locale packaged into a build.
- New app library that simplifies APK management by allowing to track individual versions, review permissions, and share apps with other users.
Android Things RC is available on the NXP i.MX7D, NXP i.MX6UL, and Raspberry Pi 3 development boards. Check the release notes for all relevant details.