While best known for it's dominant presence in mobile phones and growing usage on tablets, the Android operating system is now posed for growth in the embedded space. In a recent survey by UBM Electronics, 34 percent of embedded engineers reported that they were considering working with Android in the coming year.
While only 4% of the 200 million devices shipped with Android in 2011 were non mobile phones or tablet devices, VDC believes Android will gain significant market share well beyond its traditional areas of strength and that the strength of the Android ecosystem will benefit certain embedded products.
"We've been hearing about Android spreading beyond smartphones and tablets for years, but now we're finally starting to see it happen," says VDC's Jared Weiner.
It's no secret that Linux is found in millions of devices today (and growing) and The Linux Foundation's Linux experts are in constant demand for our embedded Linux development and Yocto training programs. Recognizing that Android is finding markets where it can be a fit for embedded products, The Linux Foundation recently launched a new Introduction to Embedded Android Development course to help companies and developers learn how to adapt Android for their embedded projects.
Among industries were Android is beginning to make in-roads includes military communications devices, medical devices and automotive systems. If your company is interesting exploring whether Android or embedded Linux could be a fit and would like to talk with someone with technical expertise, we offer a Linux Team Evaluation.
The course will be offered in conjunction with our upcoming Android Builders Summit, though attending the event is not required to take the course.
Among the goals of the course are understanding how the Android build system works and how to add a completely new device definition, how to customize the components that go into the build, how to obtain and build a Linux kernel with Android additions and how to load it onto the new target bard and configure the boot process. Below we've shared the course outline (which is subject to ongoing revision).
Visit the course page to learn more about the Introduction to Embedded Android Development course.
1. Introduction to Android
2. Getting and building the code from the Android Open Source Project
3. The Android build system and an introduction to device configuration files
4. The Android kernel: differences from mainline Linux
5. Starting up: the Android init process and init.rc scripts
6. Android's hardware abstraction layer and OpenGL ES drivers
7. Extending Android: adding new native (written in C/C++) components to the build
8. Accessing native (C/C++) code from an Android application