Android Customization and Porting

What is Android (AOSP)?

AndroidCircle50.pngSome of the Android-based products we sell use Google's AOSP. AOSP stands for Android Open Source Project. It is the open-source version of Android™ (the trademark version of Android sold on devices that include Google Play). AOSP applications are compatible with Android applications, unless the application uses Google Play Services or other incompatible Java libraries (.jar files). From the user's and developer's perspective, AOSP appears to be almost the same as Android. Android simply extends AOSP by including access to Google's Play Services and Store (formerly, Android Market), and Android phones include some Google-specific applications, like Maps. Applications may still use the Maps API with AOSP. We are working toward being able to offer the Play Store and include Google Maps with all of our products.

What advantages does Android have over other operating systems?

Android has many advantages over other operating systems. Some of these advantages are as follows:

Android-Phone-cropped-2.jpg

  • Multi-tasking environment with modern user interface
  • Rich programming environment (e.g. browser component with HTML5, Maps, etc.)
  • Multi-platform development environment (Eclipse runs on PCs, Macs, and Linux)
  • No 32MB application limitation, like Windows Mobile
  • Open source flexibility (remove unwanted applications or settings)
  • SDK and NDK flexibility allows for both Java and C language programming

We've further enhanced Android to enable a kiosk mode which allows a developer to present only his or her application to the user, effectively creating a single-purpose device without distractions from games or giving the ability to change system settings. We have also extended Android to support wired Ethernet network connectivity, including the use of an Ethernet cradle on the BIP-6000. Military features are also available, like flash zeroization and connection to military radios.

We offer you the ability to have a custom Android environment. Please contact us for more information.

Developers click here for more information.

Featured Android Software Solutions

  • GeoJot+ - Field Data Collection Software (available from SDG Systems - contact us)
  • Cargotel - Transportation Management Software
  • iFormBuilder - Forms-based Data Collection Software and Service

Android Porting

At SDG Systems, we've been porting Android (AOSP) to devices since 2009, beginning with the Cupcake release. Our experience with Android 1.x through 4.x allows us to port Android more efficiently than most other companies. Here's what Darrin Peterson of Trimble had to say:

"SDG is an outstanding professional organization with the talent to deliver on their commitments. Over multiple projects large and small, we have enjoyed excellent attention from both engineer and project manager alike, with steady support from the CEO (Todd) throughout.

In all cases, SDG delivered finished products that needed very little post-release attention. Certainly not the norm when comparing to the competition. In a recent project, there were hardware discoveries midstream that significantly threatened the project and schedule. SDG powered through them, driving to clear resolution, for an easy pass through verification testing, and to the protection of the schedule.

Overall, my experience with SDG was greatly refreshing, especially when compared to recent experiences elsewhere. I highly-recommend their work, the resulting quality, and the ultimate value they delivered to our customers."

Read the Trimble case study here

Device Drivers and Integrations

Device Driver Expertise

Many individuals and companies are building custom ROMs for consumer handsets. While these skills are impressive, it takes another level of skills to port Android or Linux from scratch to a new device. We can do that because we've been porting Linux since 2001, and Android since 2009. Our expertise also includes barcode scanning, RFID (HF, UHF and LF), communication devices (WiFi, Bluetooth, Cellular), cameras, GPS, touchscreens and more.

Android Integration Modules

Our RFID Integration Module for Android is a full-featured RFID implementation for Android. The modular architecture allows for quick integration with different chipsets. The RFID Integration Module provides a Java programming interface (API) with read and write capability, power parameters, and more. Integration with the NFC API is planned.

Our Barcode Integration Module for Android provides barcode scanning functionality for Android. Designed to be used with both decoded and non-decoded modules, the module provides a Java programming interface (API) that controls symbologies, keyboard wedge capability, and more.

Please contact us for more details on these modules or for a quotation.

Android Systems Integration

We have experience with a variety of Linux and Android development systems. If you’re using a custom board, or an off-the-shelf board like PandaBoard, WandBoard or others, we can provide the integration development services to turn your hardware and software requirements into a full solution. Some of our experience includes the following hardware components and software add-ons:

  • Processors: Marvell (PXA), TI (OMAP), Freescale (i.MX), Samsung (Exynos)
  • Wi-Fi: Broadcom, Atheros, Marvell, Laird (Summit)Series 40 and 45.
  • Bluetooth: Broadcom, CSR, TI
  • Cameras: Aptina, OmniVision, Samsung
  • Cellular: Gemalto (Cinterion), Siemens
  • Audio: Wolfson Micro
  • Barcode scanning: Motorola, Honeywell, Intermec; 1D & 2D; hardware and software decoding (e.g. SNAPI)
  • RFID: SCSPro, ThingMagic, IDRO, HIDGlobal
  • GPS: SiRF, U-Blox
  • LCDs, capacitive and resistive touchscreens
  • Buttons and triggers
  • SDIO, CompactFlash (CF), USB (host and client), Serial (UART)
  • Accelerometer, Gyro
  • Compass
  • Printers
  • Military Radio communication
  • Kiosk Mode
  • and other system components (RAM, NAND Flash, etc.)
  • Web / Cloud technologies (Amazon Web Services, Google, JSON, XML, SOAP, etc.)

Contact us to learn more about how we can help with your project. Our blog also has more information about some of our work. E.g.