Tag Archives: Developer Preview

Wear OS by Google developer preview

Posted by Hoi Lam, Lead Developer Advocate, Wear OS by Google

Today we launched the Wear OS by Google developer preview and brought Android P platform features to wearables. The developer preview includes updated system images on the official Android Emulator and a downloadable system image for the Huawei Watch 2 Bluetooth or Huawei Watch 2 Classic Bluetooth. This initial release is intended for developers only and is not for daily or consumer use. Therefore, it is only available via manual download and flash. Please refer to the release notes for known issues before downloading and flashing your device.

In this release, we would like to highlight the following features that developers should pay attention to:

  • Restriction related to non-SDK methods and fields: To improve app compatibility, Android P has started the process of restricting access to non-SDK methods and fields. Developers should make plans to migrate away from these. If there is no public equivalent for your use case, please let us know.
  • Dark UI system theme: To enhance glanceability, Wear OS has switched to a UI theme with a darker / black background for the notifications stream and system launcher since the start of the year. This is now also the default for the system theme and should improve the glanceability for wear apps. Developers should check the accessibility of their app's UI after this change.
  • Limited background activity: To improve power, apps will no longer be allowed to run in the background unless the watch is on the charger. Developers should note that Wear OS is going further with Android's app standby feature than some other form factors. Exceptions to this include watch faces and complications that the user currently has selected. This feature will be rolled out gradually in the developer preview, so you may not see it immediately on your device, but should build your apps accordingly by removing background services.
  • Turning off radios when off body: To improve power, bluetooth, WiFi, and cellular radios will be turned off when the watch is detected to be off body for an extended period of time. Again, this feature will be rolled out gradually so you may not initially see it on your device. If this feature causes challenges in your development process, you can disable the feature via adb; please follow the instructions in the release notes.
  • WiFi off when BT is disconnected: To improve power, the device will no longer automatically connect to wifi when disconnected from bluetooth. Exceptions include if an app is requesting a high bandwidth network or if the watch is on the charger. This feature will be rolled out gradually so you may not initially see it on your device.

Please give us your feedback

We expect to provide several updates to this preview before the final production release. Please submit any bugs you find via the Wear OS by Google issue tracker. The earlier you submit them, the higher the likelihood that we can include the fixes in the final release.

Android Things Developer Preview 6

Posted by Wayne Piekarski, Developer Advocate for IoT

The next release of Android Things Developer Preview 6 (DP6) is here with lots of new features and bug fixes. Android Things is Google's platform that enables Android Developers to create Internet of Things (IoT) devices with support for powerful applications such as video and audio processing and on-board machine learning with TensorFlow. For the specifics on what is new, visit the release notes. Here are a few of the highlights of what is in DP6.

IoT launcher

DP6 includes a new IoT launcher that allows the user to see the current state of the device and change settings using a touch screen or USB input devices. Settings such as configuring the WiFi, finding the build ID, and checking for updates is now something that can be done interactively, making it even easier to get started. This launcher is visible when no other developer-provided IOT_LAUNCHER Activity is present.

Graphics acceleration defaults

Android Things uses the open-source SwiftShader library, a CPU-based implementation of the OpenGL ES APIs. This enables common OpenGL support across all platforms, even those with no GPU hardware. However, many simple 2D UIs render faster if the drawing is done directly to the framebuffer and OpenGL emulation is not used. In DP6, OpenGL rendering is disabled by default to ensure that most apps run with the fastest UI possible. If you need OpenGL support for 3D rendering, WebView, or TextureView, then explicitly enable it in your AndroidManifest.xml according to the documentation:

<activity

    ...
    android:hardwareAccelerated="true">

API 27 and Google Play Services

DP6 is now based on the latest Android 8.1 developer preview, with API level 27. Most of the standard Android samples now work on DP6. For example, the Camera2Basic sample using the Camera2 API and TextureView now works on both NXP and Raspberry Pi based devices (with the hardwareAccelerated flag set to true). Google Play Services has been updated to support SDK version 11.6, supporting all the latest features.

Command-line flashing tool

We heard from developers that flashing and configuring a board using fastboot can be tedious, so the Android Things Console now brings a new and simpler way of flashing device images. Instead of using fastboot and adb commands manually, a new interactive command-line android-things-setup-utility is now provided. This tool makes it much easier to get started with Android Things, and automates the download and flashing process.

Android Things Console updates

DP6 introduces the new partition scheme that will be used for the upcoming production release. Due to the new partition layout, the over-the-air update (OTA) system cannot update existing DP5.1 or earlier devices. Developers will need to go to the Android Things Console, and download and flash a new DP6 build. The Console UI has also been changed for DP6 features, and will only allow you to create new builds based on DP6. If you have any older existing builds, they are still available for download but will not support OTA updates. Developers are encouraged to move all work to DP6.

GPIO pin naming

The interactive IoT launcher shown at boot now includes an I/O pinout section where you can discover the labels of all the pins. The pin naming used by the i.MX7 has been changed, and you should update your code to use this new naming convention. See the i.MX7 documentation for the complete list of pin names.

Settings and Device Update APIs

New APIs have been added to Android Things that control the configuration of the local device and device updates. UpdateManager gives developers control over when updates and reboots can be performed, ensuring the device is available for the user when needed. DeviceManager controls factory reset, reboot, and device locales. APIs are also provided for settings such as ScreenManager to control the screen, and TimeManager to control the clock and time zone.

Peripheral command-line tool

We now provide a command-line tool pio that gives developers access to the Peripheral API via the adb shell. Developers can interactively test GPIO, PWM, UART, I2C, SPI, and future interfaces from an adb shell, which is useful for debugging and automated testing.

Feedback

DP6 includes significant changes and improvements to the platform. Please send us your feedback by filing bug reports and feature requests, as well as asking any questions on Stack Overflow. To start using DP6, use the Android Things Console to download system images and flash existing devices, or use the android-things-setup-utility. More information about the changes are available in the release notes. You can also join Google's IoT Developers Community on Google+, a great resource to get updates and discuss ideas. Also, we have our new hackster.io community, where everyone can share the amazing projects they have built. We look forward to seeing what you build with Android Things!

Android Things Developer Preview 5

Posted by Wayne Piekarski, Developer Advocate for IoT

Today, we're releasing Developer Preview 5 (DP5) of Android Things, which includes the major change of being based on the upcoming Android O release. Android Things is Google's platform to enable Android Developers to create Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and seamlessly scale from prototype to production.

Android O

Android O is currently under Developer Preview for phones and tablets, and DP5 is now based on this upcoming release (previous releases were based on Android N). This means that your future Android Things applications should target API 26 to work correctly on the platform with our support libraries.

Hardware Changes

DP5 now adds support for the new NXP SprIoT i.MX6UL design, as listed in our developer kits documentation. With Intel discontinuing the Edison and Joule hardware designs, these platforms are moving to legacy support. They will not continue to receive the latest platform updates, but developers may continue to access the DP4.1 system images from the Android Things Console.

An important goal of Android Things is to help developers seamlessly scale from prototype to production. When we exit Developer Preview, we will differentiate between hardware platforms targeted for prototyping-only and hardware reference designs that can scale to production. Production-ready hardware will satisfy Google's security requirements and include long term support from the silicon manufacturers. We will have more to share later on.

Improvements

With the move to the Android O codebase, there are new API features from Android as well as specific features for Android Things. For those developers using UserDriver APIs, you will need to add new permissions to your AndroidManifest.xml. The documentation contains details about the permissions needed for each driver type. DP5 also now supports OpenGL ES 2.0 and WebView on the Raspberry Pi 3, which was a highly requested feature from developers. We have also implemented dynamic pin muxing for the Raspberry Pi 3, with pins being configured at runtime depending on what features are being used.

Android Studio

The samples for Android Things are now available directly in Android Studio for browsing and importing. You can now go to File, New, Import Samples, and search for Things to see everything that is available. We have a wide range of samples, demonstrating how to interact with buttons, sensors, LEDs, and displays, as well as implementing Google Assistant and TensorFlow.

Android Things Console

We recently launched the Android Things Console, which provides the ability to support over-the-air updates (OTA) to Android Things devices. We have recently made a number of UX improvements to the console to improve usability and functionality. DP5 is now available within the Android Things Console, but the DP5 update will not be pushed automatically to devices without your intervention. You will need to update your application for DP5, then create a new update and push it via the console yourself.

Feedback

With Android Things being updated to Android O, significant changes have been made to the platform. Please send us your feedback by filing bug reports and feature requests, and asking any questions on Stack Overflow. To start using DP5, use the Android Things Console to download system images and update existing devices. More information about the changes are available in the release notes. You can also join Google's IoT Developers Community on Google+, a great resource to get updates and discuss ideas. Also, we have our new hackster.io community, where everyone can share the amazing projects they have built!

Developer Preview 4 now available, official Android O coming soon!

Posted by Dave Burke, VP of Engineering

As we put the finishing touches on the Android O platform, today we're rolling out Developer Preview 4 to help you make sure your apps are ready.

This is the final preview before we launch the official Android O platform to consumers later this summer. Take this opportunity to wrap up your testing and publish your updates soon, to give users a smooth transition to Android O.

If you have a device that's enrolled in the Android Beta Program, you'll receive an update to Developer Preview 4 in the next few days. If you haven't enrolled your device yet, just visit the Android Beta site to enroll and get the update.

Watch for more information on the official Android O release soon!

What's in this update?

Developer Preview 4 is a release candidate build of Android O that you can use to complete your development and testing in time for the upcoming official release. It includes the final system behaviors, the latest bug fixes and optimizations, and the final APIs (API level 26) already available since Developer Preview 3.

We're releasing the Developer Preview 4 device system images today, together with the stable version of the Android 26.0.0 Support Library. Incremental updates to the SDK, tools, and Android Emulator system images are on the way over the next few days.

We're also introducing a new version of Android Testing Support Library that includes new features like Android Test Orchestrator, Multiprocess Espresso, and more. Watch for details coming soon.

Test your apps on Android O

Today's Developer Preview 4 system images give you an excellent way to test your current apps on the near-final version of Android O. By testing now, you can make sure your app offers the experience you want as users start to upgrade to the official Android O platform.

Just enroll a supported device in the Android Beta Program to get today's update over-the-air, install your current app from Google Play, and test the user flows. The app should run and look great, and should handle the Android O behavior changes properly -- in particular, pay attention to background location limits, notification channels, and changes in networking, security, and identifiers.

Once you've resolved any issues, publish your app updates with the current targeting level, so that they're available as users start to receive Android O.

Enhance your apps with Android O features and APIs

Users running the latest versions of Android are typically among the most active in terms of downloading apps, consuming content, and making purchases. They're also more vocal about support for the latest Android features in their favorite apps. With Android O, users are anticipating features like notification channels and dots, shortcut pinning, picture-in-picture, autofill, and others. These features could also help increase engagement with your app as more users upgrade to Android O over time.

With Android O your app can directly pin a specific app shortcut in the launcher to drive engagement.
Notification dots keep users active in your app and let them jump directly the app's core functions.

Enhancing your apps with Android O features can help you drive engagement with users, offer new interactions, give them more control and security, and improve performance. Features like adaptive icons, downloadable fonts, and autosizing TextView can simplify your development and minimize your APK size. Battery is also a top concern for users, so they'll appreciate your app being optimized for background execution limits and other important changes in vital system behavior for O apps.

Visit the O Developer Preview site to learn about all of the new features and APIs and how to build them into your apps.

Speed your development with Android Studio

When you're ready to build for Android O, we recommend updating to the latest version of Android Studio 3.0, available for download from the canary channel. Aside from improved app performance profiling tools, support for the Kotlin programming language, and Gradle build optimizations, Android Studio 3.0 makes it easier to develop with Instant Apps, XML Fonts, Downloadable Fonts, and Adaptive Icons.

We also recommend updating to the stable version of the Android Support Library 26.0.0, available now from Google's Maven repository, and to the latest SDK, tools, and emulator system images, available over the next few days.

You can update your project's compileSdkVersion to API 26 to compile against the official Android O APIs. We also recommend updating your app's targetSdkVersion to API 26 to opt-in and test your app with Android O specific behavior changes. See the migration guide for details on how to setup your environment to build with Android O.

Publish your updates to Google Play

Google Play is open for apps compiled against or targeting API 26. When you're ready, you can publish your APK updates in your alpha, beta, or production channels.

Make sure that your updated app runs well on Android O as well as older versions. We recommend using Google Play's beta testing feature to get early feedback from a small group of users. Then do a staged rollout. We're looking forward to seeing your app updates!

How to get Developer Preview 4

It's simple to get Developer Preview 4 if you haven't already! Just visit android.com/beta and opt-in your eligible phone or tablet. As always, you can also download and flash this update manually. The O Developer Preview is available for Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, and the Android Emulator. Enrolled devices will automatically update when we release the official version of Android O.

Thanks for all of your input throughout the preview. Continue to share your feedback and requests, we love it!

Android Things Console developer preview

Posted by Wayne Piekarski, Developer Advocate for IoT

Today we are launching a preview of the Android Things Console. This console allows developers to manage the software running on their fleet of Android Things IoT devices, including creating factory images, as well as updating the operating system and developer-provided APKs. Devices need to run a system image downloaded via the Android Things Console in order to receive future updates, such as the upcoming Developer Preview 5. Google provides all of the infrastructure for over-the-air (OTA) updates, so developers can focus on their specific application and not have to build their own implementation – getting their IoT devices to enter the market faster and more securely than before.

Let's take a tour of the console, and see the features it offers.

Product Creation and Product Settings

The developer first defines a product, which includes selecting a name and the type of System-on-Module (SoM) that the device is based on. Many developers want to use Google Play Services when building IoT devices, and this is configured here as an optional feature. The size of the OEM partition is also configured, and must be large enough to include the size of any future APK growth.

Factory Images

A device needs an initial base firmware to receive future updates for the correct product from your console. For starters, you can simply use "Create Build Configuration" to build a default factory image with an empty bundle that is configured for your product. This factory image can then be downloaded and flashed to your device, and you can start developing on it by sideloading an APK.

Later on, once you have prepared an application that you would like to deploy to all the devices in your product, you can upload a bundle to the console. This bundle is a ZIP file that contains a main APK file, user space drivers as a service in an APK, and any additional APKs launched by the main APK. A bootanimation.zip file is also supported, which will be displayed during boot up. The uploaded bundle ZIP file is then used to produce a complete system image that can be deployed to devices. More information about the bundle ZIP file contents is available in the documentation.

OTA Updates

This tab allows the developer to select which system image should be pushed to the fleet of product devices. The developer selects one, and then "Push to Devices" starts the process. The update will then be securely pushed to all of the devices, installed to one of the A/B partitions, and made active when the device is rebooted. If any failures are detected, the device automatically rolls back to the previous known working version, so future updates are still possible. Developers will be able to test new releases of Android Things in advance and decide whether devices should be updated automatically.

Feedback

The Android Things Console is currently a preview, and we are working on many more features and customizations. We encourage all Android Things developers to check out the Android Things Console and provide feedback. You can do this by filing bug reports and feature requests, and asking any questions on Stack Overflow. To learn more about the Android Things Console, read the detailed documentation. We also encourage everyone to join Google's IoT Developers Community on Google+, a great resource to get updates and discuss ideas.

Android Things Developer Preview 4.1

Posted by Wayne Piekarski, Developer Advocate for IoT

Today, we're releasing a new Developer Preview 4.1 (DP4.1) of Android Things, with updates for new supported hardware and bug fixes to the platform. Android Things is Google's platform to enable Android Developers to create Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and seamlessly scale from prototype to production.

New hardware

A new Pico i.MX6UL revision B board has been released, which supports many common external peripherals from partners such as Adafruit and Pimoroni. There were some prototype Pico i.MX6UL boards made available to some early beta testers, and these are not compatible with DP4.1.

Improvements

DP4.1 also includes some performance improvements since DP4, such as boot time optimizations that improve the startup time of i.MX7D based hardware. This Developer Preview also includes a version of Google Play Services, specifically optimized for IoT devices. This new IoT variant is a lot smaller and optimized for use with Android Things, and requires the use of play-services 11.0.0 or later in your build.gradle. For more information about the supported features in the IoT variant of Google Play Services, see the information page.

Google I/O

Android Things had a large presence at Google I/O this year, with 6 talks covering different aspects of Android Things for developers, and these are available as videos in a playlist for those who could not attend:

What’s New In Google’s IoT Platform? Ubiquitous Computing at Google
Bringing Device Production to Everyone With Android Things
From Prototype to Production Devices with Android Things
Developing for Android Things Using Android Studio
Using Google Cloud and TensorFlow on Android Things
Building for Enterprise IoT Using Android Things and Google Cloud Platform

Google I/O also had a codelab area, where attendees could sit down and test out Android Things development with some simple guided training guides. These codelabs are available for anyone to try at https://codelabs.developers.google.com/?cat=IoT

Feedback

Thank you to all the developers who submitted feedback for the previous developer previews. Please continue sending us your feedback by filing bug reports and feature requests, and asking any questions on stackoverflow. To download images for DP4.1, visit the Android Things download page and find the changes in the release notes. You can also join Google's IoT Developers Community on Google+, a great resource to get updates and discuss ideas, with over 5,600 members.

Android O APIs are final, get your apps ready!

Posted by Dave Burke, VP of Engineering

Three weeks ago at Google I/O, we announced the second developer preview of Android O along with key themes, Fluid Experiences and Vitals, and highlighted our work towards a modular base with Project Treble. It was also an important milestone for us with the release of the first beta-quality candidate. We talked a lot about what's new in Android during the keynote and breakout sessions—if you missed the livestream, be sure to check out the full archive of talks here.

Today we're rolling out Developer Preview 3 with the final Android O APIs, the latest system images, and an update to Android Studio to help you get ready for the consumer release later in the summer. Watch for one more preview update coming in July that will bring you the near-final system images.

If you've already enrolled your device in the Android Beta Program, you'll receive an update to Developer Preview 3 shortly.

Make your app compatible with Android O

With the consumer launch approaching in the coming months, a critical first step is making your current app compatible with Android O. This will give your users a seamless transition to the new platform as it arrives on their devices.

If you haven't tested your app for compatibility yet, getting started is straightforward -- just enroll a supported device in Android Beta and get the latest update over-the-air, then install your current app from Google Play and test. The app should run and look great, and it should handle the Android O behavior changes properly -- in particular pay attention to background limits and changes in networking, security, and identifiers.

After you've made any necessary updates, we recommend publishing the compatible version of your app to Google Play right away -- without changing the app's platform targeting.

Enhance your app with Android O features and APIs

Extending your apps with Android O features can help you drive more engagement, offer new interactions, give users more control and security, and even improve your app's performance.

Notification channels and dots give you more ways to surface new content to users and bring them back into your app. Picture-in-picture keeps your app onscreen while users are multitasking, and autofill makes it simple for them to enter forms data and helps keep their data secure. Also check out adaptive icons, XML font resources, downloadable fonts and emoji, autosizing TextView, AAudio API, and many others. You'll also want plan your support for background execution limits and other important changes in vital system behavior for O apps.

Visit the O Developer Preview site to learn about all of the new features and APIs and how to build them into your apps.

Picture-in-Picture mode lets you keep users engaged while they are multitasking (left). Notification dots keep users active in your app and let them jump directly the app’s core functions (right).

Get started with Developer Preview 3

Today's preview update includes the latest version of the Android O platform with the final API level 26 and hundreds of bugfixes and optimizations. You can download the final API 26 SDK from the SDK Manager in Android Studio, and Android Support Library 26.0.0 beta 2 from Google's Maven repository.

Together, these give you everything you need to develop and test your apps with the official Android O APIs. Once you've installed the final SDK, you can update your project's compileSdkVersion to API 26 to compile against the official Android O APIs. We also recommend updating your app's targetSdkVersion to API 26 to opt-in and test your app with Android O specific behavior changes. See the migration guide for details on how to set up your environment to build with Android O.

APIs have changed since the second developer preview, so if you have existing code using Android O preview APIs, take a look at the diff report to see where your code might be affected.

If you're developing for Android O, we recommend updating to the latest version of Android Studio 3.0, now available in the canary channel. Aside from great new features like improved app performance profiling tools, support for the Kotlin programming language, and Gradle build optimizations, Android Studio 3.0 includes build support for Instant Apps, an Adaptive Icon Wizard, and support for XML Fonts, and Downloadable Fonts.

Android Studio 3.0 includes tools for developing with Android O features lets you preview XML font resources in your app.

If you don't plan to use those features, you now have the option of developing for Android O using Android Studio 2.3.3 from the stable channel. Note that the tools for working with adaptive icons and downloadable fonts, and XML fonts are not available in Android Studio 2.3.3.

Publish your apps to alpha, beta or production channels in Google Play

Now that the APIs are final, you can publish APK updates compiling with, and optionally targeting, API 26 to your alpha, beta, or even production channels in Google Play. Publishing your O-targeted app during the preview lets you test compatibility on existing devices and push updates to devices running API 26 -- such as users who are enrolled in the Android Beta program.

To make sure that your updated app runs well on Android O as well as older versions, a common strategy is to use Google Play's beta testing feature to get early feedback from a small group of users -- including developer preview users — and then do a staged rollout as you release the updated app to all users.

How to get the preview update

Through the Android Beta program, developers and early adopters worldwide will soon be getting Developer Preview 3 on their devices. If you aren't yet enrolled, just visit android.com/beta and opt-in your eligible Android phone or tablet. As always, you can also download and flash this update manually. The O Developer Preview is available for Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Nexus Player.

Thanks so much for all of your feedback so far. Please continue to share feedback or requests as we work towards the consumer release later this summer. We're looking forward to seeing your apps on Android O!

What’s New in Android: O Developer Preview 2 & More

Posted by: Dave Burke, VP of Engineering

android-o-logo.png
With billions of Android devices around the world, Android has surpassed our wildest expectations. Today at Google I/O, we showcased a number of ways we’re pushing Android forward, with the O Release, new tools for developers to help create more performant apps, and an early preview of a project we call Android Go -- a new experience that we’re building for entry-level devices.
Fluid experiences in Android O
It's pretty incredible what you can do on mobile devices today, and how easy it is to rely on them as computers in our pockets. In the O release we've focused on creating fluid experiences that make Android even more powerful and easy to use, and today we highlighted some of those:
  • Picture-in-picture: lets users manage two tasks simultaneously, whether it’s video calling your friend while checking your calendar, or reading a new recipe while watching a video on a specific cooking technique. We’ve designed PIP to provide seamless multitasking on any size screen, and it’s easy for apps to support it.
  • Notification dots extend the reach of notifications, a new way for developers to surface activity in their app, driving engagement. Built on our unique and highly regarded notification system, dots work with zero effort for most apps - we even extract the color of the dot from your icon. 
  • Autofill with Google simplifies setting up a new device and synchronizing passwords by bringing Chrome's Autofill feature to Android. Once a user opts-in, Autofill will work out-of-the-box for most apps. Developers can optimize their apps for Autofill by providing hints about the type of data expected or add support in custom views. 
  • A new homescreen for Android TV makes it easy for users to find, preview, and watch content provided by apps. Apps can publish one or more channels, and users can control the channels that appear on the homescreen. You’ll be able to get started with creating channels using the new TvProvider support library APIs
  • Smart Text Selection: In Android O, we’re applying on-device machine learning to copy/paste, to let Android recognize entities like addresses, URLs, telephone numbers, and email addresses. This makes the copy/paste experience better by selecting the entire entity and surfacing the right apps to carry out an action based on the type of entity.
  • TensorFlow Lite: As Android continues to take advantage of machine learning to improve the user experience, we want our developer partners to be able to do the same. Today we shared an early look at TensorFlow Lite, an upcoming project based on TensorFlow, Google’s open source machine learning library. TensorFlow Lite is specifically designed to be fast and lightweight for embedded use cases. Since many on-device scenarios require real-time performance, we’re also working on a new Neural Network API that TensorFlow can take advantage of to accelerate computation. We plan to make both of these available to developers in a maintenance update to O later this year, so stay tuned!  
(L) Android O: Picture-in-picture, (R) Android O: Notification dots

Working on the Vitals in Android
We think Android’s foundations are critical, so we’re investing in Android Vitals, a project focused on optimizing battery life, startup time, graphic rendering time, and stability. Today we showcased some of the work we’ve done so far, and introduced new tools to help developers understand power, performance, and reliability issues in their apps:
  • System optimizations: in Android O, we’ve done a lot of work across the system to make apps run faster and smoother. For example we made extensive changes in our runtime - including new optimizations like concurrent compacting garbage collection, code locality, and more. 
  • Background limits: up to now it’s been fairly easy for apps to unintentionally overuse resources while they’re in the background, and this can adversely affect the performance of the system. So in O, we've introduced new limits on background location and wi-fi scans, and changes in the way apps run in the background. These boundaries prevent overuse -- they’re about increasing battery life and freeing up memory.
  • New Android Vitals Dashboards in the Play Console: today we launched six Play Console dashboards to help you pinpoint common issues in your apps - excessive crash rate, ANR rate, frozen frames, slow rendering, excessive wakeups, and stuck wake locks, including how many users are affected, with guidance on the best way to address the issues. You can visit the Play Console today to see your app's data, then learn how to address any issues.
Android Go
Part of Android’s mission is to bring computing to everyone. We’re excited about seeing more users come online for the first time as the price of entry level smart phones drop, and we want to help manufacturers continue to offer lower-cost devices that provide a great experience for these users. Today we gave a sneak peek of a new experience that we’re building specifically for Android devices that have 1GB or less of memory -- Internally we call it “Android Go,” and it’s designed around three things
  • OS: We’re optimizing Android O to run smoothly and efficiently on entry-level devices
  • Apps: We’re also designing Google apps to use less memory, storage space, and mobile data, including apps such as YouTube Go, Chrome, and Gboard. 
  • Play: On entry-level devices, Play store will promote a better user experience by highlighting apps that are specifically designed for these devices -- such as apps that use less memory, storage space, and mobile data -- while still giving users access to the entire app catalog.
The Android Go experience will ship in 2018 for all Android devices that have 1GB or less of memory. We recommend getting your apps ready for these devices soon -- take a look at the Building for Billions to learn about the importance of offering a useful offline state, reducing APK size, and minimizing battery and memory use.

O Developer Preview 2, Now in Public Beta
Today’s release of O Developer Preview 2 is our first beta-quality candidate, available to test on your primary phone or tablet. We’re inviting those who want to try the beta release of Android O to enroll now at android.com/beta -- it’s an incredibly convenient way to preview Android O on your Nexus 5X, 6P, and Player, as well as Pixel, Pixel XL, or Pixel C device.

With more users starting to get Android O on their devices through the Android Beta program, now is the time to test your apps for compatibility, resolve any issues, and publish an update as soon as possible. See the migration guide for steps and a recommended timeline.

Later today you’ll be able to download the updated tools for developing on Android O, including the latest canaries of Android Studio, SDK, and tools, Android O system images, and emulators. Along with those, you’ll be able to download support library 26.0.0 beta and other libraries from our new Maven repo. The change to Maven from SDK Manager means a slight change to your build configuration, but gives you much more flexibility in how you integrate library updates with your CI systems.

When you’re ready to get started developing with Android O, visit the O Developer Preview site for details on all of the features you can use in your apps, including notification channels and dots, picture-in-picture, autofill, and others. APIs have changed since the first developer preview, so take a look at the diff report to see where your code might be affected.

Thanks for the feedback you’ve given us so far. Please keep it coming, about Android O features, APIs, issues, or requests -- see the Feedback and Bugs page for details on where to report feedback.

Android Things Developer Preview 4

Posted by Wayne Piekarski, Developer Advocate for IoT

Today, we are releasing the next Developer Preview 4 (DP4) of Android Things, bringing new supported hardware, features, and bug fixes to the platform. The goal of Android Things is to enable Android Developers to quickly build smart devices, and seamlessly scale from prototype to production using a Board Support Package (BSP) provided by Google.
AIY Projects and Google Assistant SDK
Earlier this month, we announced a partnership with AIY Projects, enabling Android Things support for the Raspberry Pi-based Voice Kit. And now with DP4, the necessary drivers are provided to support the Google Assistant SDK on all Android Things certified development boards. Learn more from the instructions in the sample.
New hardware and driver support
We are now adding a new Board Support Package for the NXP i.MX7D, which supports higher performance than the i.MX6UL while still using a low power System on Module (SoM) design. Support for Inter-IC Sound Bus (I2S) has been added to the Peripheral I/O API, now enabling audio drivers to be written in user space for sound hardware connected via an I2S bus. The AIY Voice Kit sample demonstrates how to use I2S support for audio. We have also provided the ability for developers to enable/disable Bluetooth profiles at run time.
NXP i.MX7D System on Module
Production hardware sample
Android Things is very focused on helping developers build production-ready devices that they can bring to market. This means building custom hardware, in addition to the software running on the Android Things system-on-module (SoM). As a part of this effort, we have released Edison Candle, the first in a series of production samples showcasing hardware and software designed to work together. The code is hosted on GitHub and the hardware design files are on CircuitHub, and can be easily fabricated by many 3rd party companies.
Edison Candle sample with source and schematics
Thank you to all the developers who submitted feedback for the previous developer previews. Please continue sending us your feedback by filing bug reports and feature requests, and asking any questions on stackoverflow. To download images for DP4, visit the Android Things download page and find the changes in the release notes. You can also join Google's IoT Developers Community on Google+, a great resource to get updates and discuss ideas, with over 4,900 members. We also have a number of great talks about Android Things and IoT at Google I/O, which you can view via live stream or as a recording later.




Android O to drop insecure TLS version fallback in HttpsURLConnection

Posted by Tobias Thierer, Software Engineer


To improve security, insecure TLS version fallback has been removed from HttpsURLConnection in Android O.

What is changing and why?


TLS version fallback is a compatibility workaround in the HTTPS stack to connect to servers that do not implement TLS protocol version negotiation correctly. In previous versions of Android, if the initial TLS handshake fails in a particular way, HttpsURLConnection retries the handshake with newer TLS protocol versions disabled. In Android O, it will no longer attempt those retries. Connections to servers that correctly implement TLS protocol version negotiation are not affected.

We are removing this workaround because it weakens TLS by disabling TLS protocol version downgrade protections. The workaround is no longer needed, because fewer than 0.01% of web servers relied on it as of late 2015.

Will my app be affected?


Most apps will not be affected by this change. The easiest way to be sure is to build and test your app with the Android O Developer Preview. Your app's HTTPS connections in Android O will not be affected if they:

  • Target web servers that work with recent versions of Chrome or Firefox, because those servers have correctly implemented TLS protocol version negotiation. Support for TLS version fallback was removed in Firefox 37 (Mar 2015) and Chrome 50 (Apr 2016).
  • Use a third-party HTTP library not built on top of HttpsURLConnection. We suggest you disable protocol fallback if you're using a third-party library. For example, in OkHttp versions up to 3.6, you may want to configure your OkHttpClient to only use ConnectionSpec.MODERN_TLS.

My app is affected. What now?


If your app relies on TLS version fallback, its HTTPS connections are vulnerable to downgrade attacks. To fix this, you should contact whoever operates the server. If this is not possible right away, then as a workaround you could use a third-party HTTP library that offers TLS version fallback. Be aware that using this method weakens your app's TLS security. To discover any compatibility issues, please test your app against the Android O Developer Preview.