Android Things Developer Preview 5 has now been released. As to be expected, this latest version comes with a number of clear upgrades and improvements, compared to previous developer preview versions. However, one of the main headline aspects is that this latest version of Android Things is now based off of Android O. As previous versions had been based off the current version of Android, Nougat (7.0). From the developer perspective, in addition to this meaning the latest version of Android Things is now ready for the upcoming release of Android O, developers will want to ensure that their Android Things applications target API 26 to fully take advantage of the Android O-basis.
Speaking of which, the announcement also touches on the variety of new API features that are now available with this latest developer preview. Ones that are directly relevant to Android Things, as well as Android in general. Some of the features listed, include support for OpenGL ES 2.0 and WebView on the Raspberry Pi 3, as well as “dynamic pin muxing for the Raspberry Pi 3.” Another aspect developers will want to be aware of, is that in spite of the Android Things Console now being available and capable of automatically pushing OTA updates to respective devices, the announcement explains that this will not be the case with DP5. Instead, developers using the Android Things Console will still need to update applications to DP5 first, then create a new update which can be in turn be used and pushed out to devices through the Android Things Console.
The announcement also details the expansion of hardware support, as well as the retirement of some. For instance, Android Things DP5 has seen support added for the NXP i.MX6UL processor, while Intel’s Edison and Joule compute models have seen their support removed. That is, they will not be able to make use of future (or this) updates, but can still take advantage of developer preview 4.1. On a last note, as this is a developer preview of Android Things, Google is looking for those who experience any bugs or issues with this latest release to provide feedback. More details on how to do that, as well as more detailed information on the fifth develop preview of Android Things, available through the link below.