Initially, Brillo was set to be the Google IoT platform, and it indeed received lots of attention upon its announcement. However, it didn’t turn out to be as successful and popular as people had hoped. As such, with the purpose of a more unified project, Google took the decision of rebranding Brillo to Android Things in December 2016. Now the software can be accessed as an early preview on various devices: NXP Pico, Intel Edison or Raspberry Pi 3. Moreover, it uses the own Weave communication layer they have.
More Things Included
Together with the rebranding, we saw that the company released the first developer preview for this platform. In February we got an update in the Developer Preview 2, and a couple of days ago Google released the third version of the preview for Android Things. Leaving aside all the changes that were previously performed, the third developer, the third developer preview brings 2 major additions: USB Host support and Bluetooth API support on Android.
As such, Google has added USB Host support for the Android 3.1 version, and it now lets regular user space apps to communicate with the USB devices. You could also do this before, but you needed required root privileges. Plus, you even have an extra USB Enumerator, which helps you iterate over and print any interfaces and endpoints for the USB devices you own.
Regarding the Android Bluetooth APIs, you are now able to write code that has the possibility of interacting both with Bluetooth classic and with LE (low energy) devices. It is in fact the same process that you see with a normal Android device, which is only good news for Android developers. Besides, Google also brought new samples: Bluetooth audio sink and Bluetooth LE GATT server.