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Unleashing the Potential of Android Open Source Project (AOSP)

AOSP for Embedded Systems

The Android operating system had a market share of around 71% in the global smartphone market, which is expected to reach 82% by the end of 2025, making it the most widely used mobile operating system in the world. This market dominance is due to the wide range of devices and price points that use Android, as well as the large developer community that supports its growth.

In addition to smartphones, Android is also used in other embedded devices such as smart TVs, in-vehicle infotainment systems, and the Internet of Things (IoT). This has helped Android establish a strong presence in the embedded market as well.

About AOSP (Android Open Source Project):

AOSP stands for “Android Open Source Project,” led by Google, which aims to create a free and open-source software stack for mobile devices. The AOSP provides the foundation for the Android operating system that is used on millions of devices worldwide.

The project includes the source code for the Android operating system, as well as the necessary libraries and APIs to develop Android applications. The AOSP allows developers to customize the Android experience, create their own OS images according to their needs, and develop their own applications and features. The AOSP is open to contributions from anyone, and the community of developers working on the project is constantly growing.

Android Open Source Project

Key Benefits of AOSP in the Embedded World:

There are several benefits to developing a product on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP):

  • Cost-effective: AOSP is a free and open-source alternative to proprietary embedded operating systems, which can save companies significant costs in development and licensing fees. The core Android operating system and its libraries are licensed under Apache License 2.0, which is a permissive open-source license that allows developers to freely use, modify, and distribute the software, as long as they comply with the conditions of the license
  • Some of the key libraries and components used in AOSP are licensed under the GPLv2 (GNU General Public License version 2), which is a copyleft license that requires any derivative works to be released under the same license. This ensures that the source code for these components remains open and available for others to use and contribute. Additionally, some of the multimedia components and drivers used in AOSP may be licensed under other open-source licenses, such as the BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) license or the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) license
  • In summary, AOSP uses a combination of open-source licenses, including the Apache License 2.0, the GPLv2, the BSD license, and the MIT license, to manage the distribution of its software and related resources
  • Widely Adopted: Android is the most popular mobile operating system. By using AOSP, companies can leverage this existing ecosystem and user base for their products. Almost every semiconductor company provides AOSP support on their multi-processor SoC, which makes AOSP the first choice for a Board Support Package (BSP)
  • Large Developer Community: AOSP has a huge and active developer community, which contributes to the project’s development and provides immense support. This helps companies reduce their development costs and shorten time-to-market
  • Customization: AOSP provides a high level of flexibility and customization options, allowing companies to tailor the Android OS to their specific needs, whether it’s changing the user interface, adding particular features, or integrating with other systems. This level of customization can help companies differentiate their products and offer a better user experience to their customers
  • Scalability & Security: AOSP is designed to be scalable and can be used on a wide range of devices, from smartphones to smart TVs, automotive systems, and IoT devices. It provides many security features, such as mandatory access control, secure boot, and encryption, that can help companies ensure the security of their products. Google releases a monthly security bulletin for the last 3 AOSP versions that include all CVE fixes, this makes the product more secure from the latest vulnerabilities fixes
  • Over the Air Update: Android has a stable upgrade ecosystem with options like A/B or non-A/B. It shortens the time required to create its own upgrade flow from scratch and enables it to leverage easily with simple customizations
  • Compatibility Test Suit (CTS/xTS): Android has developed thousands of test cases to ensure it performs and behaves consistently for any 3rd party application. This whole suit runs automatically and is easy to run on development-enabled devices
  • Apps & Feature Access: AOSP allows access to a vast number of apps available on the Google play store, which can be used on embedded devices as well. It also allows companies to access the latest features of Android, which can help companies stay competitive and offer the latest features to their customers

Overall, developing a product on AOSP can help companies reduce costs, leverage a widely adopted ecosystem, and benefit from a large developer community, which can help them bring their products to market faster and with greater innovation.

The Future of Android Open Source Project (AOSP):

One of the key drivers for the future of AOSP in embedded projects is the increasing demand for smart and connected devices. As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow, more and more devices are being connected to the internet and require an operating system to run on. AOSP, with its flexibility and scalability, is well-suited to meet the demands of this growing market.

Another driver for the future of AOSP in embedded projects is the growing trend towards open-source software in the embedded industry. Many companies are looking to reduce costs and increase innovation by using open-source software, and AOSP is a leading open-source option for embedded projects. In addition, the AOSP developer community is growing rapidly. This will help to ensure that AOSP continues to evolve and improve, which makes it a relevant and competitive option for embedded projects in the future.

With current trends, feature-rich SDK support for AOSP allows application developers to create more intuitive and powerful applications in less time; perhaps it will become easier to maintain and upgrade the end-user experience.

How can Volansys help you develop AOSP-based Products?

VOLANSYS has vast experience and expertise in developing end-to-end custom AOSP-based solutions for a variety of use cases, such as automotive infotainment, industrial automation, medical devices, and smart homes. We offer a wide range of services to help clients leverage the benefits of AOSP, including.

  • Customization and Integration: We help clients customize and integrate the AOSP stack with their hardware platforms to build a customized operating system that meets their specific needs.
  • BSP Development: We develop a board support package (BSP) for clients that includes all the necessary device drivers, boot loaders, and other components required to run AOSP on their hardware platform.
  • Application Development: We develop custom applications for clients that run on AOSP and leverage its features and capabilities.
  • Security and Compliance: We help clients ensure the security and compliance of their AOSP-based solutions by implementing security features such as secure boot, encryption, and access control, and by ensuring compliance with relevant industry standards and regulations.
  • Testing and Validation: We perform comprehensive testing and validation of our clients’ AOSP-based solutions to ensure their quality and reliability.
  • Cloud-based Centrally Managed Platform: We develop a cloud-based platform that assists clients to manage their products and services from a single console, such as monitoring the health of devices, controlling & updating the content being displayed, managing permissions, user access, and installing applications remotely.

Let’s check out our success stories on AOSP, a company specializing in touch technology-based solutions, offering a wide range of interactive displays for the retail and healthcare industries. The client wanted to develop an interactive touchscreen retail kiosk, point-of-sale systems and digital signage, installed in their retail stores across the country, enabling the customers to interact with products, access information, and make purchases. They also wanted to develop a cloud-based platform, enabling retailers to manage and monitor their touchscreen kiosks remotely and update product information, pricing, and promotions in real time.

VOLANSYS acted as a single-stop solution enabler and delivered the AOSP-based solution that helped the client improve their customer engagement with an interactive touch display and increase sales with an automated checkout process & turnaround time

Another success story from our healthcare client is that they wanted to develop an AOSP-based healthcare solution that allows easy access to patient data and is compatible with various healthcare software applications while protecting medical records from cyber threats.

To know more about our experience and expertise on AOSP, you can connect with our experts

Amartya Singh
About the Author: Amartya Singh

Amartya Singh has been associated with VOLANSYS for the past 2 years. He is part of the Embedded Software domain where he contributed to IoT & Machine Learning projects. He is experienced with development on Linux & Android platforms, using languages like C, C++, Python & Java.

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