Android Things 1.0: Better late than never

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Android Things 1.0: Better late than never

Android Things, a managed OS that enables clients to build and maintain Internet of Things devices at scale, was announced by Google almost two years ago. After a developer preview with over 100,000 SDK downloads, Google has now released Version 1.0 starting at its annual I/O Conference 2018 with long-term support for production devices. The company said that they received a lot of feedback from over 10,000 developers through the issue tracker, at workshop events, and through the Google+ community.

Things provides a robust platform that does the heavy lifting with certified hardware, rich developer APIs, and secure managed software updates using Google’s back-end infrastructure, so people can focus on building their products.

Google also announced support for new System-on-Modules (SoMs) based on the NXP i.MX8M, Qualcomm SDA212, Qualcomm SDA624, and MediaTek MT8516 hardware platforms. These modules are certified for production use with guaranteed long-term support for three years, making it easier to bring prototypes to market. Development hardware and reference designs for these SoMs will be available in the coming months.

The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and NXP i.MX7D devices will continue to be supported as developer hardware. One of the core tenets of Android Things is powering devices that remain secure over time. Providing timely software updates over-the-air (OTA) is a fundamental part of that. Stability fixes and security patches are supported on production hardware platforms, and automatic updates are enabled for all devices by default. For each long-term support version, Google will offer free stability fixes and security patches for three years, with additional options for extended support even after the official support window ends.

The Android Things Console includes a new interface to configure hardware peripherals, enabling build-time control of the Peripheral I/O connections available and device properties such as GPIO resistors and I2C bus speed. This feature will continue to be expanded in future releases to encom-pass more peripheral hardware configurations.

Over the past months, Google worked closely with partners to bring products built on Android Things to market. These include Smart Speakers from LG and iHome and Smart Displays from Lenovo, LG, and JBL, which showcase powerful capabilities like Google Assistant and Google Cast. These products are hitting shelves between now and the end of summer. Startups and agen-cies are also using Android Things to prototype innovative ideas for a diverse set of use-cases.

Author: Tim Cole
Image Credit: Google

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