With Android O on the horizon, Android Things Developer Preview 5 has been released. With this comes a version jump to an Android O base, OpenGL ES 2.0 support and WebView support for the Raspberry Pi. There are also new Device Management APIs and permission now needs to be granted to an app to manage user drivers.
Android Things is Google’s take on the Internet of Things (IoT) initiative, wherein the objective is any standard electrical appliance can exchange data with others once supported. Following this, it’s Google’s attempt at a “smart home” operating system. The idea of having Android Things is that we can expand our list of smart devices, and thanks to it being Android, have a sense of familiarity with it wherever it goes. A smart fridge running Android Things could still in theory use adb, still be understood by Android app developers and has the added benefit of being able to connect to any other Android Things or Android device with full cross compatibility. It is basically a stripped down version of Android, aimed at slightly more capable devices than the likes of smart lights. Devices it may be used in are dishwashers, smart TVs, and alarm clocks. It is also aimed at being used in security systems, such as CCTV cameras.
With this update also comes support of the Murata SprIoT 6UL and support for the Intel Joule and Intel Edison has been discontinued as the hardware was also discontinued, though Developer Preview 4.1 will still work on them. There are still some known bugs however. First boot takes a long time due to Google Play Services and the power management system is broken. This means that the device doesn’t actually go to sleep yet. These are relatively minor issues, however, and show how close the OS is to being finished.
Having said all of that, Android Things looks incredibly promising. If devices are cheap enough and their home integration is good, I can certainly see there being an interest. Time will tell!
Source: Android Developers
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