Why Android Developers Should Get on Board the IoT Revolution

Posted by Paul Aragones on 4/18/18 1:01 PM

android

IoT and the Android World

When IoT came on the scene some years back, there were a lot of concerns raised about whether this would kill or lessen the use of mobile technology. But it turns out that this was the complete opposite of what was about to happen. IoT has come to rely heavily on mobile technology. Tracking Sensors are using mobile phones to communicate with their devices. Smart locks are using BLE technology through smartphones to lock and unlock devices.

With the recent launching of Android Things on Google, Android is also pushing its way through to become one of the leading mobile connections for IoT. The vast proliferation of smart technologies, especially in the consumer world, means that there's an ever-increasing demand to have a remote control which can manage data to these devices. Android has given an answer to that need by opening up a lot of channels for communication (such as MQTT and XMPP), earning its place as a key driving force behind IoT. Now Android has become a tool for developers as a universal IoT front end. 

Getting Started with IoT

Getting into IoT mobile programming can help any Android developer increase their skillset. From using the typical Android app usage (calling a REST API data and displaying it on your app), any Android developer will find themselves learning new libraries: initially BLE and MQTT transmissions.

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)

BLE is a wireless personal range network designed for applications in the healthcare, wellness, security, and entertainment industries. Since most of the IoT devices are using BLE for connectivity, learning how to scan, connect, send data and receive data to any BLE devices is one of the easiest ways to get started. The Android Bluetooth documentation provides a lot of useful information on how to code Bluetooth devices into your app.

MQTT

MQTT is a machine-to-machine (M2M)/IoT network convention. It's outlined as a great lightweight publish-subscribe based informing convention for utilizing the best of the TCP/IP convention. It's planned for associations to farther areas where a little code impression is required or where the organized transmission capacity is constrained. The Paho Android Client is a great library resource to implement MQTT in Android.

Geeny and Android

The Current Gap

There are already hundreds of IoT companies (and counting) out there focusing on different categories that range from smart home to health and elderly care to fitness. However, most of the devices are isolated and have no means of interacting with one another. That means if customers buy a single smart light device, it would be difficult for them to connect it to other smart devices (e.g. a smart lock that they bought two months ago from a different brand). Enabling communication between two devices from different brands can be quite tricky. Typically, a person has to either buy two devices from the same brand or he/she has to program their own system to connect their devices.

The Geeny Solution + Android

This is where Geeny comes in. Geeny is an IoT platform that is ready to help companies enable their devices to communicate with one another, no matter the brand. Once devices are onboarded on the platform, application providers can start consuming the data from these devices to create combined use cases. In turn, this empowers the consumer get even more value from their devices and applications.

The Geeny Android SDK helps to make this connection smoother and faster by providing the environment ready for BLE and MQTT transmissions by sending commands and receiving data. This offers great ease as developers need to write fewer lines of code rather than having to implement the whole BLE and MQTT from scratch. Simply by calling one or two lines of code from the SDK, these things can be implemented quickly. 

Geeny Android SDK is currently on its alpha phase but can now help companies to manage publishing and subscribing messages through our Geeny MQTT broker. It has also implemented OAuth2 security logins, BLE connection, and custom message transmissions. If you want to take a look and play around with this SDK, check out our GitHub repository.

 

Android image attribution: Google Inc.
Business vector created by Freepik.

Topics : How-to's, IoT trends

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