Overview

Android Things lets you experiment with building devices on a trusted platform, without previous knowledge of embedded system design:

Develop using the Android SDK and Android Studio
Access hardware such as displays and cameras natively through the Android framework
Connect your apps with Google services
Integrate additional peripherals through the Peripheral I/O APIs (GPIO, I2C, SPI, UART, PWM)
Use the Android Things Console to push over-the-air feature and security updates

Hardware

Android Things enables you to build apps on top of popular hardware platforms like the Raspberry Pi 3. The Board Support Package (BSP) is managed by Google, so no kernel or firmware development is required. Software images are built and delivered to devices through the Android Things Console. This gives you a trusted platform to develop on with standard updates and fixes from Google.

Get started quickly with one of our developer kits.

SDK

Android Things extends the core Android framework with additional APIs provided by the Things Support Library, which lets you integrate with new types of hardware not found on mobile devices.

Developing apps for embedded devices is different from mobile in a few important ways such as:

  • More flexible access to hardware peripherals and drivers than mobile devices
  • System apps are not present to optimize startup and storage requirements
  • Apps are launched automatically on startup to immerse your users in the app experience.
  • Devices expose only one app to users, instead of multiple like with mobile devices.

See the Features and API page for more information on this library.

See the Platform differences page for more information on the similarities and differences between Android Things and the Android framework.

Console

When you're ready to begin publishing your code to devices, the Android Things Console provides tools to install and update the system image on supported hardware devices.This allows you to push seamless updates to users in the field as well as test deployments on your own hardware. Using the console, you can:

  • Download and install the latest Android Things system image
  • Build software images that bundle your applications with the operating system
  • Push images over-the-air (OTA) to devices as updates

See the Android Things Console documentation for more information on all of its features.

Get started

When developing for Android Things, you'll use Android Studio and many of the same tools as mobile development. If you're not already familiar with Android and hardware development, our tutorials and guides will get you up and running quickly.

Get a developer kit

To start, all you need is a developer kit and the required peripherals for the device that you want to build. See Get started with kits for more information.

Next steps

Once you've gotten a developer kit, build your first Android Things app and check out these additional resources for in-depth documentation and code samples: