Android P-Based Android Things To Improve Chromecast Support

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Android P will allow Android Things devices and Chromecasts to have their volume levels synchronized using a public application programming interface (API), a new commit discovered in the Chromium Gerrit repository suggests. The current version of the service relies on an Android Things API and is still in a highly experimental phase of development, though its creator indicated that the tool will become public once an Android P-based version of Android Things is out at some point next year. The feature itself is presumably one of many that Google's engineers are currently developing in an effort to make Android Things as intuitive as possible, allowing the embedded OS to grow into a full-fledged Internet of Things ecosystem.

The volume control API seems like the start of better Chromecast integration into Android Things and will likely be expanded upon in the future as new commits come to light. The API would e.g. allow you to set the volume level of your Chromecast and have the same command automatically relayed to an array of smart speakers connected to your TV for a surround experience. The action of controlling the sound of any device using the API would be made on a smartphone or tablet running Android itself and the service will seemingly debut alongside Android P which may be accompanied by a version number 9.0. The relevant code already seems to be working as intended and no major bugs were discovered following the latest review from a Google engineer, as revealed by the newly uncovered commit.

Android Things was officially announced in late 2016 as a rebranding of Brillo, an IoT platform debuted by Google in mid-2015. The operating system was specifically designed for embedded devices which don't boast high-end hardware specifications and is meant to be used for growing the company's IoT ecosystem centered around compatibility with Android. The Mountain View, California-based tech giant already released five developer previews of Android Things and the platform is expected to officially launch as a stable service come next year, which is also when its first commercial applications should be announced. The latest experimental version of the OS is based on Android 8.0 Oreo, with a transition to Android P being expected by mid-2018.

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