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Tutorials  Android Things
Tutorials  Android Things

Android Things Development

When Googles IoT platform, Android Things was launched, it caused some rethinking for time-served Android developers. 

This was necessary in order to adapt to all the anticipated hardware applications it will be used for, and it meant many familar features had to be removed. The most radical of these was the default UI, since the UI is now optional. This doesn't mean there isn't one, it just means you have to roll your own entirely. Of course you do this using the standard Android View framework you're used to in its entirety, but by default, the system supplies nothing. That means there's no status bar, no navigation bar, no back button etc - and your device has no home screen.

The idea with Android Things is you're creating a hardware applicance. Typically, this runs only one app and it's this app which starts up when your device is booted, That's the production scenario which is the one your end user expects. For development, this can be a little restrictive. You can certainly install many different apps onto Android Things devices, and developers often do this to try multiple versions of their apps, run small self-contained test apps or measure performance variants of the same one, for example. This is cumbersome without a home screen or some kind of launcher, because each has to be built and installed fresh so it "wins" in the boot race.

Tutorials  Android Things
Electricity Monitor

Introducing “Electricity Monitor"

For those who may not know, I live in beautiful sunny South Africa (see my tweets for lots of awesome pictures). A few years ago we battled with a lack of electricity. While “load-shedding” is not so common these days, we have numerous unplanned outages. We even have a few of apps that give out schedules when the electricity is scheduled to go off in your area (see here and here).

While these apps serve a purpose, they are not so good when we have unplanned outages.

Which often leaves me asking myself the following questions:

Do I have electricity at home right now?
If not, how long has the electricity been out for?
Is it okay to eat the contents of my freezer?

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