With the Google announcement of its Android Open Accessory Development Kit (ADK) at Google I/O 2011, Google joined Apple in the game of allowing mobile apps to interface with accessories. The Android Open Accessory will give hardware developers, a new API and an open accessory development boards to work with. This will allow external USB hardware (an Android USB accessory) to interact with an Android-powered device in a special “accessory” mode. When an Android-powered powered device is in accessory mode, the connected accessory acts as the USB host (powers the bus and enumerates devices) and Android-powered device acts as the device.
OPEN PLATFORM FOR HARDWARE DEVELOPERS
The reference ADK boards will be available for software and hardware developers or even anyone interested in things electronic to develop accessories that will work with apps. This USB accessory is based on the popular Arduino Mega2560 and Circuits@Home USB Host Shield designs, since it communicates to the phone in its “accessory” mode. Developers can get the custom library / firmware with software to work with to make it run and test with shield. The programming language is based on Wiring and is very like C/C++.
The challenge on the Google’s ADK FR-4 double-sided boards is keeping the white consistent along the big panels. The 6 different legends and colors becomes a challenge not only to ensure spacing and straightness but to make sure that white color doesn’t show through and the Google brand colors stands out.