Create a build for an Android Things product

The BUILD tab in the Android Things Console allows you to create builds for a given model. You can customize each build with a version of the OS and a set of applications, build resources, and hardware configurations. You can see the build history for a model on this tab as well.

If you are not already on this tab, open the Android Things Console, click a product model you previously configured, and click the BUILD tab.

Empty build list

Create a build configuration

To get started, click the NEW button, select Start from scratch, and follow these steps:

  1. Name the build configuration.

    Name the build configuration

  2. Select an OS version for Android Things.

    Select Android Things version

  3. Select the applications you want to include in the build. Click SELECT APPS.

    Select apps

    There are two types of applications: developer apps and Google apps. Developer apps are applications that you create and upload into your library. Google apps, such as Google Play Services, are created and managed by Google; the available versions are dependent on the Android Things OS version selected in the previous step. Both types of applications are compiled and packaged into a single file with the .apk extension (an Android application package file).

    To upload your own developer apps, click UPLOAD NEW APP on the Include APKs from library dialog and select an apk from your local drive. Make sure to select the check box next to the package name for the uploaded app.

    Android Things expects only one application to expose a home activity for the system to automatically launch on boot. The Android Things Console will not generate a build that contains more than one app with a home activity.

    Click the APPLY button.

    Include apks

    Before you can add an app to the build configuration, you need to explicitly grant dangerous permissions.

    Set permissions

  4. To add additional build resources, click UPLOAD. All build resources are unversioned and cannot be modified for a particular build after the build has been created.

    Google provides a number of built-in resources, such as the font package for Android apps.

    Select build resources

  5. Hardware configurations allow you to define peripherals and configure their attributes. To add a hardware configuration, click ADD NEW PERIPHERAL.

    Add hardware config

  6. Edit the user partition size. This text box is found under the App Partition bar graph. The partition must be large enough to fit all of the apps, build resources, and hardware configurations specified in the earlier steps.

    Edit user partition

  7. Click CREATE BUILD to create a build using this configuration.

Create a build

When the build is complete, a new entry will appear in the Build configuration list table.

Build list

View, copy, or delete a build

To view, copy, or delete a build, click the ellipses at the end of a build entry in the Build configuration list table.

Tag a build

Tags allow you to flag a build with data, and then search for builds with that data later. You can add any tag text to any build. Click ADD TAGS for any build in the Build configuration list table and enter a comma-separated list.

Some tags are auto-generated:

Factory image

To tag a build as factory-loaded, select it from the list and select the Factory Image check box under BUILD OPTIONS. This tag marks images that are used as the basis for "delta" OTA images, which are smaller, differences-only update images (25-30% the size of a full OTA image).

Regardless of this setting, delta images are always created between the most recent OTA and any build with an active device. The Factory Image check box simply ensures that a delta is created between that factory image and the most recent OTA even if there are no active devices on that image.

If a delta image cannot be generated, a full update image will be used.

Flash the device

Build download

Click the Download menu and select a version of the build to download:

  • Production: Use this build as a factory starter image for production devices. Production builds do not allow access to debugging tools, such as adb.
  • Development: Use this build for development and testing. Development builds have additional debugging capabilities enabled, and should not be shipped on production devices.

Find your device in the table of supported hardware platforms. Then click the Get Started link to find instructions on how to flash your device with the downloaded image.

What's next

After you flash a device, you can push build updates to devices segmented by update channels.