Yesterday Google announced the launch of the first developer preview of its Android Things Console. This is designed to work with Android Things and in the shortest of terms, as a centralized port where developers can more easily interact and control a large number of Android Things-powered devices. So for instance, via the Android Developers blog announcement, Google explains that with the Android Things Console, developers will be able to apply factory images to Android Things devices, as well as sideload APKs, push out OTA updates to more than one device at the same time. Or of course, apply different OTA updates to different devices.
While this is the first developer preview for the Android Things console, it is not the first developer preview for Android Things in general. That came through towards the end of last year, and since then has been subject to the arrival of more previews. The most recent being the fourth developer preview, which arrived in May, 2017. Although technically speaking, the most current version of the preview is actually Developer Preview 4.1, which only arrived mid-way through this month.
With Android Things being a platform that looks to capitalize on the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution, it is one which will likely see a lot of smaller and less-demanding devices being connected to it in the long-term. Which is why such a centralized console is likely to be of use. While the number of devices running on Android Things may be limited at the moment, that will change in time. Of course, with this being a developer preview (and the first for that matter), this is a very early version of the finished product. With Google noting that it will be improved upon in time, with new features and customizations being added. As well as asking those who do test-run the Android Things Console to provide feedback on their experience. The link below contains detailed information on the first developer preview, as well as the links needed to sign-up to be part of the program. It is also worth noting that Google does highly advise all Android Things developers to start using the console, as only devices that have been updated initially through the console will receive future OTA updates, including Developer Preview 5, when it is released.