Book Image

Android Things Projects

By : Francesco Azzola
Book Image

Android Things Projects

By: Francesco Azzola

Overview of this book

Android Things makes developing connected embedded devices easy by providing the same Android development tools, best-in-class Android framework, and Google APIs that make developers successful on mobile. With this book, you will be able to take advantage of the new Android framework APIs to securely build projects using low-level components such as sensors, resistors, capacitors, and display controllers. This book will teach you all you need to know about working with Android Things through practical projects based on home automation, robotics, IoT, and so on. We’ll teach you to make the most of the Android Things and build enticing projects such as a smart greenhouse that controls the climate and environment automatically. You’ll also create an alarm system, integrate Android Things with IoT cloud platforms, and more. By the end of this book, you will know everything about Android Things, and you’ll have built some very cool projects using the latest technology that is driving the adoption of IoT. You will also have primed your mindset so that you can use your knowledge for profitable, practical projects.
Table of Contents (15 chapters)
Title Page
About the Author
About the Reviewers
Customer Feedback

Creating the first Android Things project

Considering that Android Things derives from Android, the development process and the app structure are the as same we use in a common Android app. For this reason, the development tool to use for Android Things is Android Studio. If you have already used Android Studio in the past, reading this section will help you to discover the main differences between an Android Things app and an Android app. Otherwise, if you are new to Android development, this section will guide you step by step to create your first Android Things app.

Android Studio is the official development environment to develop Android Things apps, therefore, before starting, it is necessary you have installed it. If not, go to, to download and install it. The development environment must adhere to these prerequisites:

  • SDK tools version 24 or higher
  • Update the SDK with Android 7 (API level 24)
  • Android Studio 2.2 or higher

If your environment does not meet the previous conditions, you have to update your Android Studio using the Update manager.

Now there are two alternatives to starting a new project:

  • Clone a template project from GitHub and import it into Android Studio
  • Create a new Android project in Android Studio

To better understand the main differences between Android and Android Things you should follow option number 2, at least the first time.

Cloning the template project

This is the fastest path because with a few steps you are ready to develop an Android Things app:

  1. Go to and clone the repository. Open a terminal and write the following:
git clone
  1. Now you have to import the cloned project into Android Studio.

Create the project manually

This step is longer in respect to the previous option, but it is useful to know the main differences between these two worlds:

  1. Create a new Android project. Do not forget to set the Minimum SDK to level API 24:
  1. By now, you should create a project with empty activity. Confirm and create the new project.

There are some steps you have to follow before your Android app project turns into an Android Things app project:

  1. Open the Gradle scripts folder and modify build.gradle (app-level) and replace the dependency directive with the following lines:
dependencies {
  provided '
  1. Open the res folder and remove all the files under it except strings.xml.
  2. Open Manifest.xml and remove the android:theme attribute in the application tag.
  3. In Manifest.xml add the following line inside the application tag:
<uses-library android:name=""/>
  1. In the layout folder, open all the layout files created automatically and remove the references to values.
  2. In the activity created by default ( remove this line:
  1. Replace AppCompatActivity with Activity.
  2. Under the folder java remove all the folders except the one with your package name.

That's all. You have now transformed an Android app project into an Android Things app project. Compiling the code you will have no errors. In future, you can simply clone the repository holding the project template and start coding.