FYI: You can watch Google I/O 2018 keynote here

Want to build and maintain IoT devices at scale? You’ll need Android Things

Gabriela Motroc
Android Things
© Shutterstock / andongob

Google I/O 2018 is about to begin but the announcements have already started to pour. First came Flutter beta 3, now it’s time for the first stable release of Android Things. Let’s have a closer look at it.

You remember Android Things, right? It was first introduced as a developer preview in December 2016 and, eight release candidates later,  the first stable release is ready to see the light of day. Dave Smith, Developer Advocate for IoT announced the good news in a recent blog post.

Android Things is Google’s managed OS that enables you to build and maintain Internet of Things devices at scale. We provide 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 you can focus on building your product.

If you’re a non-commercial user, you can usee Android Things for free but if you want to manage more than 100 active devices, you’ll need a commercial subscription. Have a look at the updated terms in the Android Things SDK License Agreement and Console Terms of Service.

Android Things: All the goodies

Since Android Things is all about keeping devices secure over time, it’s no wonder that Google offers free stability fixes and security patches for three years for every long-term support version. Furthermore, you can continue to push app updates to your devices even after the official support window is over. If you want to read more about this topic, check out the program policies.

Google is also announcing support for new System-on-Modules (SoMs) based on the NXP i.MX8M, Qualcomm SDA212, Qualcomm SDA624, and MediaTek MT8516 hardware platforms. These modules also have a three-year long-term support, which will make it easier to bring prototypes to market.

Although the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and NXP i.MX7D devices will continue to be supported, the NXP i.MX6UL devices aren’t that lucky. You should have a look at the updated supported platforms page if you’re interested in the differences between production and prototype hardware.

The Android Things Console has a new interface to configure hardware peripherals, thus enabling build-time control of the Peripheral I/O connections available and device properties such as GPIO resistors and I2C bus speed. But that’s not all – there will be more peripheral hardware configurations in the future.

Get started with Android Things

If you’re eager to buy devices powered by Android Things, you won’t have to wait too long; products such as Smart Speakers from LG and iHome and Smart Displays from Lenovo, LG, and JBL should hit the shelves between now and the end of summer.

Don’t forget to take a look at the full release notes for Android Things 1.0, and go to the Android Things Console to start validating your devices for production with the 1.0 system image.

Google I/O 2018 livestreamed

Google will once again broadcast the opening keynote; Google I/O 2018 starts at 10 AM Pacific Time.

You can watch the live stream here.

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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