Android Things Developer Preview 2 with Native I/O, User Drivers and More

Android Things DP2 includes familiar tools such as Android Studio, Android Software Development Kit, Google Play Services, and Google Cloud Platform.

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Developer Preview 2 (DP2) for Android Things, bringing in new features and bug fixes to the platform, is a comprehensive solution to building Internet of Things (IoT) products with the power of Android.

DP2 includes familiar tools such as Android Studio, Android Software, Development Kit (SDK), Google Play Services, and Google Cloud Platform. Developer using Android APIs and Google services can now quickly build a smart device, while staying highly secure with updates direct from Google.

Android Things supports a System-on-Module (SoM) architecture, where a core computing module can be initially used with development boards and then easily scaled to large production runs with custom designs, while continuing to use the same Board Support Package (BSP) from Google.

Tesnsorflow for Android Things

Some of the new features and bug fixes included in DP2:

  • Support for USB Audio to Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) for Intel Edison and Raspberry Pi 3 is added now.
  • NXP Pico already contains direct support for audio on device.
  • As many developers use native C or C++ code to develop IoT software, and Android Things supports standard Android NDK. Google has released a library to provide native access to Peripheral I/O (PIO), so developers can easily use existing native code. Bugs related to PIO are resolved as well.
  • The documentation explains the new API, and the sample provides a demonstration of how to use it.
  • Support for Intel Joule platform, which offers the most computing power to date is added as well.
  • Google also notes, that a repository of user drivers for a variety of common hardware interfaces such as sensors, buttons, and displays is available with this release. And, developers can also create own drivers in their APK, and then bind it to the framework, and share them with the community.
  • "For example, your driver code could read a GPIO pin and trigger a regular Android KeyEvent, or read in an external GPS via a serial port and feed this into the Android location APIs. This allows any application to inject hardware events into the framework, without customizing the Linux kernel or HAL." writes the team.
  • An early-access TensorFlow for Android Things inference library prebuilt for ARM and x86 provided to easily add TensorFlow to any Android app with just a single line in build.gradle file
  • Also, a highly requested sample of TensorFlow on Android Things is included demonstrates accessing camera, performing object recognition and image classification, and speaking out results using text-to-speech (TTS).