Android Things Developer Preview 8 brings final APIs

The latest Developer Preview of Google's IoT platform Android Things has launched, bringing with it what represents the final API surface before the stable version.

During the preview releases of Android Things, Google committed to providing updates every 6-8 weeks – a schedule the company has kept fairly rigidly to.

This latest release does not bring major new features as some of the platform’s prior releases. Instead, it tunes up the existing to ensure it's ready for general release and guarantees to developers that no more API-breaking changes will be made.

Here's the full changelog:

Added support for setting Bluetooth I/O capabilities to BluetoothConfigManager.

See the updated Bluetooth guide for more details.

Refactored InputDriver to support a more flexible range of input event types.

See the updated input driver guide for more details.

Expanded the location driver framework to encompass all GNSS receivers.

See the updated location driver guide for more details.
Reorder parameters in all callback registration methods for better Kotlin interop.

Support added for the WifiP2pManager API for managing Wi-Fi peer-to-peer connectivity.
This support is currently limited to the NXP i.MX7D platform.

ScreenManager API has been removed. Use the default Android window APIs to adjust parameters such as screen brightness and orientation.

Screen brightness Adjust screen brightness using the screenBrightness window attribute:

Home activities During developer preview, the main app on the device could filter for a custom IOT_LAUNCHER intent to launch automatically on boot. Beginning in DP8, this category is replaced by the standard CATEGORY_HOME intent.

Peripheral I/O permission Apps using the Peripheral I/O APIs are required to add the new USE_PERIPHERAL_IO permission to the manifest. See the updated Peripheral I/O guides for more details.

Granting dangerous permissions During developer preview, Android Things granted dangerous permissions automatically to apps on device boot. Beginning in DP8, these permissions are granted in the developer console while creating a new build, giving you more control of the permissions used by the apps on your device.

Overall, the release is what you'd expect from a developer preview this close to final. For comparison, Android typically has around 4-5 releases before it hits stable.

To build apps for Developer Preview 8, you will need Android Studio 3.1 Canary 11 or later. Preview 8 is available on the NXP i.MX7D, NXP i.MX6UL, and Raspberry Pi 3 development boards.

What are your thoughts on Android Things so far? Let us know in the comments.

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