Products built on the AOSP (Android Open Source Platform) assist companies in cost reductions by utilizing a widely used ecosystem and gaining access to a large developer community, which can assist them in bringing their products to market more quickly and with better innovation. AOSP is a great platform that can help you meet your product development objectives if your requirements for a product include a user-friendly interface, multimedia capabilities, robust security measures, and flexibility in using third-party apps.
The previous blog focused on the major benefits of AOSP. Now, we’ll go over the fundamental stages of how to build AOSP-based products, from selecting the appropriate hardware platform to integrating OTA update support. We will also look at various scenarios where AOSP-based products have proven their worth. Furthermore, we will discuss the distinct features that distinguish AOSP as a superior option when compared to other platforms.
To begin, let’s understand the process of developing products on AOSP (Android Open Source Project).
Process of Building AOSP-based Products:
- Hardware Platform Selection: The selection of a hardware platform is a pivotal decision, for it lays the groundwork for the entire product development process. Choosing a platform that satisfies the product’s requirements for features, performance, and scalability is imperative. Various evaluation modules (EVMs), system-on-chips (SOCs), or single-board computers (SBCs) compatible with AOSP can be scrutinized to determine the optimal platform.
- Develop MVP(Minimum Viable Product): The development of an MVP is a crucial step, as it serves the first iteration of the product, which should fulfil the early customers’ basic requirements and provide feedback for future development. Creating an Android application that runs on the selected hardware platform and testing its functionality is an integral part of MVP development.
- Customize AOSP: Customizing AOSP to meet the product’s unique requirements is a paramount endeavour. This involves modifying the code and configuration files of AOSP to integrate specific features and control restrictions necessary for the product. This process may also include adding or removing system applications and services.
- Optimization: Optimization of the pre-installed applications is indispensable to ensure that they meet the product’s requirements. This may necessitate the removal of superfluous apps or the integration of custom apps specially crafted for the product. Further enhancements to the customized AOSP may also be indispensable to ensure optimal performance and stability.
- Over-the-air Integration: OTA integration is a crucial feature for AOSP products, enabling the product to receive upgrades to improve performance, stability, and security, either in full or delta form. This integration should be designed to be seamless and user-friendly, enabling effortless installation of updates and patches.
- AOSP products should be updated annually with major upgrades to remain relevant to the latest software features and capabilities.
- Security Enhancements: To maintain product security, the AOSP receives monthly or quarterly security updates to counteract any vulnerabilities or threats. These updates can be delivered through OTA integration.
- Google Services: If necessary, the AOSP product can be licensed to include Google services such as Google Play and Google Maps, depending on the product’s requirements and licensing agreements. This may provide supplementary features and functionality to the product, but may also incur additional development and licensing expenses.
Use Cases of Products Built on AOSP:
The Android Open Source Project (AOSP) is a remarkable platform with enormous potential for developing a wide range of products owing to its remarkable versatility. Among the most popular use cases are:
Retail Kiosks and Point-of-sale Systems: The use of AOSP in retail kiosks and point-of-sale systems is indeed becoming increasingly common. AOSP can be customized to meet the specific needs of retailers, enabling them to streamline their operations, reduce costs, and improve customer experiences. By integrating payment gateways, inventory management, and customer relationship management systems, retailers can enhance their operational efficiency while simultaneously delivering exceptional services to their end customers.
Digital Signage: It has become an ever-popular means of advertising and broadcasting information across various industries, including retail, hospitality, and entertainment. AOSP’s remarkable ability to deliver dynamic, high-quality media content across a range of devices makes it the go-to platform for digital signage. By tailoring the interface to meet the needs of various industries, AOSP can provide a more engaging and interactive experience for customers and visitors alike.
Infotainment Systems and Smart TVs/Set-top Boxes: AOSP is an ideal platform for infotainment systems in cars and smart TVs/set-top boxes, as it provides a reliable and user-friendly experience. The ability to customize these systems to include features such as navigation, entertainment, and communication tools makes them a valuable addition to any car or home. Because of AOSP’s compatibility with various third-party applications and services, these systems can be tailored to meet the specific needs of individual users.
Medical Devices: The use of AOSP in developing medical devices is highly suitable, owing to its robust security features and compatibility with various sensors. Medical devices such as patient monitoring systems, diagnostic tools, and wearable devices can be developed using AOSP, enabling more accurate and efficient healthcare delivery. By utilizing AOSP, medical professionals can ensure that their patients receive the best possible care while simultaneously reducing the risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks.
Industrial Control Systems: AOSP’s compatibility with various connectivity protocols & sensors makes it an ideal platform for developing industrial control systems. These systems can be tailored to meet the specific needs of various industries, including manufacturing, agriculture, and logistics. AOSP’s real-time processing capabilities enable precise control of complex industrial processes, enhancing operational efficiency and productivity.
Smart Home Hubs: AOSP is becoming increasingly popular in the development of smart home hubs. It is suitable for integrating a wide range of sensors and connectivity protocols which makes it an ideal platform for controlling lighting, temperature, security, and entertainment systems, amongst others. By utilizing AOSP, developers can create smart home hubs that are compatible with various third-party devices and services, enabling users to control their homes with greater ease and convenience.
Reasons to Choose AOSP over Other Platforms:
One of the key advantages of AOSP over other platforms is its user-friendly interface, which is designed to provide a smooth and intuitive user experience. It provides excellent support for multimedia content, making it an ideal platform for applications that require multimedia.
AOSP has a robust infrastructure for sensors and connectivity protocols. To improve security, it also includes security features such as biometric authentication and user-based restrictions. It benefits from a large community of app developers who have created a diverse range of apps and continue to create more, making it an ideal choice for products that require app flexibility.
To summarize, the AOSP product development process consists of several stages that need to be fulfilled to develop a winning product. Given its versatility and customization capabilities, the use of AOSP for developing products in diverse sectors such as retail, medical, entertainment, and manufacturing has grown in popularity.
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.