From Lollipop to Oreo: Digi Embedded for Android with Backward Compatibility

Digi International Digi International
January 28, 2019

Last week we announced that we were rolling out support for Android Oreo. The distribution is now fully available, with documentation.

Digi Embedded for Android is the custom distribution for Digi’s ConnectCore range of embedded System-On-Modules and Single Board Computers. It bridges the gap between an operating system designed for mobile phones to one tailored to the specific needs of embedded systems.

Digi Embedded for Android Oreo has been updated to Android API 26. Applications running on the Lollipop release will also work on the new Oreo release, as Digi Embedded for Android Oreo is backward compatible with Android 5.1 Lollipop (API 22). Digi has also enhanced all APIX to work with the new Android permission system and SE Linux for the development of secure embedded devices.

Android for Embedded Devices

Android is a well-known operating system for mobile devices, but it’s also becoming increasingly popular as an operating system for high-end, graphical, and multimedia-intensive embedded products. Several factors are driving adoption in the embedded space:

  • UI-rich application development: Android enables you to quickly develop applications using rich graphical user interfaces.
  • APIs for hardware access: Android developers can make use of clean, easy to use, and well-documented APIs for hardware interfaces such as camera, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.
  • Global familiarity: The Android ecosystem has a large pool of developers with the knowledge and experience to develop robust applications.
  • Development tools: Android Studio provides a fully featured IDE to design, develop, and debug Android applications.
  • Linux-based: Android benefits from the same hardware support as other Linux kernel-based operating systems, as well as the large community of embedded Linux developers.
  • Open source and royalty free: Embedded Android is a great choice for quick, cost-effective prototyping, with the assurance that the same hardware, operating system, and applications can be used in demanding production environments.

The Digi Embedded for Android Oreo Release

The Digi Embedded for Android Oreo release is the latest software update for the Digi ConnectCore 6 SOMs and SBCs, including the following features.

Digi Embedded APIX

Android has standard APIs to access the device’s hardware, including:

  • Audio
  • Bluetooth
  • Cameras
  • Touch screens
  • USB
  • Video
  • Wi-Fi

Digi Embedded for Android extends Android APIs to support the entire set of interfaces available on Digi’s embedded products, such as:

  • ADCs: Configure ADC channels, read and monitor them, including periodic sampling
  • CAN: Configure CAN interfaces and send and receive data, including filtering
  • Networking: Manage and configure networking interfaces
  • GPIOs: Get and set GPIO values and detect pin state changes
  • Firmware update: Trigger both application and system-wide system updates, including easy interfacing with cloud services for over the air (OTA) updates
  • CPU and GPU management: Manage cores, monitor usage and temperature, and perform frequency scaling
  • I2C: Configure interfaces and easily read and write data to the bus
  • Memory: Monitor memory usage
  • PWM: List and configure channels
  • Serial ports: Manage, configure, send and receive data
  • SPI: Configure and transfer data
  • Digi Remote Manager: Connect with Digi’s cloud-based device management service which allows you to send and receive data from the cloud and perform fleet management tasks such as configuration and firmware updates
  • Watchdog: Includes both a global system-wide watchdog to reset the whole system in case of malfunctions, and application-specific watchdogs that restart only the affected application
  • Digi XBee: Manage and transfer data to Digi XBee devices

Android Studio Add-on

Digi Embedded for Android provides an Android Studio add-on. This easy-to-use development environment enables you to develop applications using the real Digi embedded hardware. The add-on includes sample applications, code examples, and integrated Javadoc documentation for all of Digi Embedded APIX.

Embedded Development

Digi Embedded for Android includes the whole buildable source code and its development history. Embedded Linux developers have access to the Git history for all of the distribution’s components, including Board Support Packages and Android internal layers.

Online Documentation

Digi Embedded for Android comes with extensive documentation and the well-known Digi support and services to help you bring your product to market as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Get Started with Digi Embedded for Android on the Digi ConnectCore 6 SBC. And watch this space for the upcoming Digi Embedded for Android releases for other Digi Embedded platforms like the Digi ConnectCore 6 Plus and the Digi ConnectCore 8X.

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