My understanding was Android Things would see one more update before such a move, and here comes another Preview.
Android Things is basically Google’s way of addressing the Internet of Things. It’s an Android-based platform intended to provide quicker (and Google-friendly) routes to develop embedded things, be they smart locks, sensor control systems of different communication devices…
DP6 includes a new “IoT launcher” that allows the user to view the current state of a device and change settings using a touch screen or USB input devices.
Wayne Piekarski, Developer Advocate for IoT writes:
Settings such as configuring the WiFi, finding the build ID, and checking for updates is now something that can be done interactively, making it even easier to get started. This launcher is visible when no other developer-provided IOT_LAUNCHER Activity is present.
The IoT launcher, shown at boot, now includes an I/O pinout section where you can discover the labels of all the pins.
(Note also, the pin naming used by NXP’s i.MX7 has been changed, says Google, and you should update your code to use this new naming convention.)
Interestingly, there is also a command-line flashing tool.
We heard from developers that flashing and configuring a board using fastboot can be tedious, so the Android Things Console now brings a new and simpler way of flashing device images. Instead of using fastboot and adb commands manually, a new interactive command-line android-things-setup-utility is now provided. This tool makes it much easier to get started with Android Things, and automates the download and flashing process.
Developer Preview 6 also apparently features support for video and audio processing and on-board machine learning with TensorFlow.
You can view the release notes online.