Google announces move to Android O in latest Android Things Developer Preview update

First introduced at I/O in 2015, Android Things has since then become Google's main attempt at grabbing a significant chunk of the growing Internet-of-Things (IoT) market. The platform, which uses the Android subsystem, is aimed at low-level hardware like the Raspberry Pi for instance. Google has announced a new Developer Preview update, adding new features and removing support for specific hardware.

First off the company announced in its latest blog post that unlike the previous versions, the new DP5 update will move to Android O, the upcoming version of Android for phones and tablets. This means that your applications will have to target the new API 26 to function correctly if it's using the support libraries.

When it comes to hardware, the new update will add support for the NXP SprIoT i.MX6UL design. Support for Intel Edison and Joule will fall away after the manufacturer announced earlier that it will completely discontinue support for those platforms and any future development in the IoT space. These will no longer receive any platform updates from Google, but users can continue to access the DP4.1 images if required from the Android Things Console.

Google added that with the move to Android O, developers will be required to add new permissions to AndroidManifest.xml if they use UserDriver API's. Beyond that, the new codebase supports OpenGL ES 2.0 and Webview on the Raspberry Pi 3; and includes support for dynamic pin muxing.

The blog post goes into detail regarding some improvements to the Android Things console, which makes it easier for developers to issue Over-the-Air (OTA) updates; and some improvements to the Android Studio library, which gives developers access to several samples that could speed up the development process.

Source: Android Developers Blog

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