Like most in the Bluetooth low energy market, I was excited to see that Google announced Bluetooth Smart support as part of the Android 4.3 “Jelly Bean” update today. According to Google, more smartphones and tablets use “Jelly Bean” than any other Android version. Plus there are 70 million Android tablet activations expected by the end of this year—a huge opportunity for Bluetooth Smart growth. For Android lovers, it is an opportunity to develop new Bluetooth Smart devices and apps and get them into the hands of consumers quickly. For existing iOS device and apps developers it is an opportunity to expand their market by also offering Android support.
The good news is that once the API is downloaded much of what developers have done with iOS support can be leveraged to quickly get up and running on Android 4.3. Similar to CoreBluetooth in iOS, the Android 4.3 Bluetooth low energy API allows for connections with Bluetooth Smart devices via GATT (Generic Attribute Profile). This enables a wide variety of applications that can be based either on adopted specifications from the Bluetooth SIG or on custom profiles tailored to the application.
To get started with development, all that is required is the Android SDK. The ADT (Android Development Tools) Bundle, which is publicly available, contains everything required to develop Android Bluetooth low energy apps, including the latest Android platform, the Android SDK, and an Eclipse+ ADT plugin to simplify development. TI will be providing a sample application (including full source code) in the near future, demonstrating the functionality of the Android Bluetooth v4.0 stack.
So how can you get started?
- Download API version 18 here
- Check out the Bluetooth SIG’s enablement site to download the Android Application Accelerator—a tool kit to speed time-to-market of Bluetooth Smart applications for Android 4.3
- If you are a TI customer and need help, please refer to the Bluetooth low energy E2E forum or Bluetooth low energy Wiki where TI and community members can answer your questions
And stay tuned for more great things from TI on Bluetooth low energy.