Android Things?

Android Things is platfrom for your IoT prototyping. The name Android Things comes from Android, because it runs on Android and you can run Android Apps there and Things because you make some IoT (Internet of Things) device. IoT stands for a lot of things that are connected to internet, for example alarms, sensors, smart screens, smart everything

It is like „Arduino running Android“. Protocols such as I2C, Serial, SPI and GPIO, PWM are supported.

Android Thins itself is only way how to do software on your development board. You can run it on Raspberry Pi 3B or Pico i.MX7D. I like the fruity way more. Small comparison:

BoardCPUGPURAMMemoryConnectivityGPIO
RPi 3B 4x ARM Cortex-A53 1.2GHz Broadcom VideoCore IV 1GB LPDDR2 (900 MHz) uSD card 10/100 Ethernet, 2.4GHz 802.11n, BT, BLE 40-pin header
Pico i.MX7D 2x ARM Cortex-A7 1.2Ghz, ARM Cortex-M4 200Mhz 512MB LPDDR3 (1066 MHz) 4GB eMMC WiFi, Ethernet, Bluetooth 40-pin header + 12-pin + 2×8-pin

The Starter pack I got is borrowed from eMan.cz. This is not a commercial promo. The box contains several smaller boxes with these components:

  1. Pico i.MX7D Development Board
  2. Wi-Fi antenna + cable
  3. 5″ multi-touch display + cable
  4. Pimoroni Rainbow HAT + Camera module
  5. Camera ribbon cable + Standoffs ads screws + Double-ended screwdriver + USB-C cable

The box itself has cardboard-styled parts which can be connected together into one Development Stand as they say.

Photos on Google Drive

One of the dissadvantages you can get is support of libraries. There are not so many libraries for components like for Arduino or Python running on Raspberry. If you want to run a rare component which works with Arduino you can run it with Android Things as well, but with need to be lucky finding the right library otherwise you will need to write it yourself by datasheet and that could not be so easy.

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