As part of the Android Builders Summit I presented the Headless Android work I've been doing as part of Cyborgstack. The presentation PDF is already available on the Cyborgstack website, but I wanted to post this brief blog just to explain some basics.
First, you can get the Headless Android branch of Cyborgstack like this:
$ repo init -u git://github.com/cyborgstack/android.git -b headless $ repo sync
Essentially, Headless Android is the AOSP but WITHOUT:
It gives you is all the Android framework but for ui-less systems (no FB.) What it means, is that, save for Activities, you can use the standard Android development tools (Eclipse, SDK/NDK, etc.) to create apps that use:
Why would you want this instead of using "Embedded Linux"? Honestly I was very skeptical when some developers first mentioned to me that they were interested in doing this. I was in fact very dismissive of it. But I kept getting more and more inquiries about this. So I decided to bite the bullet and give it a try.
Now that I have, I think there are 2 clear benefits to using this instead of "embedded Linux":
- you get one platform for all your device development, whether it has a UI or not
- your devices become programmable by any developer that knows the Android API (and, as you may know, there's growing number of those.)
That said, what I've done is very much a proof of concept. It's in fact a dirty hack at this point. Please don't ship this just yet. It needs a lot more eyeballs and certainly a lot more work. But, it's good enough to give you a taste of what's possible and allow you play with it.