The latest Android Things developer preview from Google is now available. This is developer preview 8 and follows on from the last developer preview released in March, 2018. However, this new version is fairly notable as the release notes detail how developer preview 8 includes the final version of the API. Therefore, there is likely to be no major changes between this new version and the stable 1.0 version when it becomes available – as detailed in the release notes. In simpler terms, this is the final developer preview of Android Things.
With this being an eighth developer preview there is little in the way of new features although the release notes do point out the latest version include an improved ability to manage APKs, as well as “new peripheral testing views” for the likes of the camera and the display. New supports have also been added including for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi peer-to-peer connectivity. While some aspects have been removed. For example, the ScreenManager API has been removed with this latest version and so have automatic dangerous permissions. As there is now the ability for developers to control which apps make use of dangerous permissions from the developer console. This marks a fairly significant change to before as previous developer previews were set up to automatically grant these dangerous permissions on boot. There is also a number of fixes to previously known issues while a number of other issues remain unfixed, but known.
For those new to Android Things, this is Google’s attempt at providing a very lightweight operating system version for very lightweight and low powered devices. In other words, Android Things has largely been purpose-built with the Internet of Things (IoT) in mind. It is worth noting that the timing of this seemingly final developer preview conveniently comes just a few weeks ahead of Google’s annual developer-focused event, Google I/O. Which would suggest that more news on Android Things — and possible the launch of the stable 1.0 release — will come through at the event. A full list of all the changes, fixes, and known issues for developer preview 8 can be found on the Android Things developer website.