As Android O nears its official launch for phones and tablets, other Android-based platforms are beginning to transition over. For Android Things, the jump to 8.0 will introduce new features and begins with Developer Preview 5.
Android Things was previously based on Nougat, but Google is now updating the Internet of Things platform to O ahead of the official release. Google recommends to developers that future IoT applications should target API 26 “to work correctly on the platform with our support libraries.”
The jump to O will bring new API functionality from Android, “as well as specific features for Android Things.” One of the major and highly requested changes with DP5 is support for OpenGL ES 2.0 and WebView on the Raspberry Pi 3.
On that hardware front, the latest developer preview supports the new NXP SprIoT i.MX6UL design, while the discontinued Intel Edison and Joule hardware designs are moving to legacy support. Developer Preview 4.1 system images will remain available, but there will be no future updates.
Google is also making plans for the final release of Android Things, with more details in regards to prototyping coming soon:
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.
System images and release notes for DP5 are now available, with the developer preview also available as an OTA. However, this update will require explicit developer approval before it gets pushed.