Android Things Developer Preview 8 is now available with final APIs
Android is an incredibly popular operating system. It has experienced most of its success in smartphones, but Android TV and Android Auto have also experienced varying degrees of success. In December 2016, Google released the first Developer Preview of Android Things, a version of Android developed for so-called Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as smart appliances and embedded devices. Android Things was originally called Brillo.
A month ago, Google released Android Things Developer Preview 7 with new Bluetooth APIs, console enhancements, and more. Now, the company has released Developer Preview 8. The release schedule for Developer Previews for Android Things is different from the mobile version of Android, which typically receives about 4-5 Developer Previews before the release of the stable version. In contrast, Android Things has released eight Developer Preview so far.
Google states that the preview release of Android Things Developer Preview 8 is for developers and early adopters to use for development and compatibility testing on supported hardware platforms. It may have various stability issues on supported hardware. Not all APIs are enabled in this preview. Developer Preview 8 is available on the NXP i.MX7D, NXP i.MX6UL, and Raspberry Pi 3 development boards.
The 0.8-devpreview version of the Android Things support library represents the final version of the API surface for the upcoming, stable 1.0 release of Android Things. Google states that there will be no more breaking changes in the API exposed in this version of the library.
Building apps for Developer Preview 8 requires Android Studio 3.1 Canary 11 or later. The company notes that all apps must be updated to use the 0.8-devpreview version of the Android Things support library, with previous versions not being compatible with Developer Preview 8.
The API additions include the addition of support for setting Bluetooth I/O capabilities to BluetoothConfigManager. There is also a refactored InputDriver to support a more flexible range of input event types, and the location driver framework has been expanded to encompass all GNSS receivers. Parameters in all callback registration methods have been reordered for better Kotlin interop. Support has been added for the WifiP2pManager API for managing Wi-Fi peer-to-peer connectivity, and it should be noted that the support is currently limited to the NXP i.MX7D platform. Google has removed the ScreenManager API, as it recommends developers to use the default Android window APIs to adjust parameters such as screen brightness and orientation.
Developer Preview 8 also contains a new app library in the developer console to let developers manage APKs more easily without the need to package them together in a separate zipped bundle. More developer features have been added to the default Android Things launcher app, including peripheral tests and date/time settings.
The full list of changes, resolved issues, and known issues can be read at the source link.