News  Platforms
News  Platforms
Project Treble

A thorn in Android's side for years

Ask anyone familiar with Android today what the biggest problem with it is and chances are "security" and "updates" will feature prominently in the answers. It's no co-incidence either - the two are intricately related.

In the eyes of the public, Android is less secure because it doesn't get updates anything like as quickly or as comprehensively as other platforms, in particular the iPhone. Even worse, some handsets end up getting no updates at all after a shockingly short length of time from their launch. Two years from launch until sunset has even been seen, without naming names.

Vendors prefer to sell new models for obvious reasons. There's no money for them in providing eternal updates, and it costs a fortune to retro-fit them in anyway, money which they''d much sooner invest in their newer models.

News  Platforms
Android Things

My first 24 hours with Android Things

Just when I was in the middle of an Android based IoT commercial project running on a Raspberry Pi 3, something awesome happened. Google released the first preview of Android Things, their SDK targeted specifically at (initially) 3 SBC’s (Single Board Computers) — the Pi 3, the Intel Edison and the NXP Pico. To say I was struggling is a bit of an understatement — without even an established port of Android to the Pi, we were at the mercy of the various quirks and omissions of the well-meaning but problematic homebrew distro brigade. One of these problems was a deal breaker too — no touchscreen support, not even for the official one sold by Element14. I had an idea Android was heading for the Pi already, and earlier a mention in a commit to the AOSP project from Google got everyone excited for a while. So when, on 12th Dec 2016, without much fanfare I might add, Google announced “Android Things” plus a downloadable SDK, I dived in with both hands, a map and a flashlight, and hung a “do not disturb” sign on my door