Developers can now implement Ultra-Wideband (UWB) support in apps with Android Jetpack

Last year, Google added a new API in AOSP to enable better support for ultra-wideband (UWB) devices. At the time, we learned that the API was restricted to system apps only, meaning that it was not accessible to third-party apps. That’s now finally changing as developers can implement UWB-support in their apps with a newly launched Jetpack library. Version 1.0.0-alpha of androidx.core.uwb Jetpack library can be used in an app to interact with UWB-enabled devices such as the Google Pixel 6 Pro or the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus and Ultra.

What this means is that from now, developers can interact with the UWB capabilities of the Android smartphone that their apps are running on, and it’s no longer just restricted to system apps. Currently, the UWB API requires a device to be running Android 12 or newer, though pretty much all devices that have UWB probably already are. UWB can make use of a low-energy density for short-range measurements and perform high-bandwidth signaling over a large portion of the radio spectrum.

Apple’s AirTags make use of UWB so that you can accurately pinpoint them with your smartphone, and the first modern smartphone to support UWB was the iPhone 11. On the Android side, Samsung was the first to bring this tech to the market with its Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra smartphones. Xiaomi has also announced plans to get onboard with UWB technology, showingcasing how it aims to use the technology to control its smart home ecosystem.

As for why it’s being released as an Android Jetpack library, there’s a reason for that. Developing for Android can be a painful affair given Google’s yearly OS release cycle and shifting API requirements for Google Play, and that’s why we see Google maintaining a set of support libraries under the “Android Jetpack” umbrella. It’s a set of Android components, tools, and guidance inspired by the backward compatibility of the Support Library and the ease of use of the Android Architecture Components.

Given that the UWB library is in alpha, it’s possible that it may not have all of the functionality that developers may want yet. Developers should make sure to read through the developer documentation for this new library to ensure they understand how to make use of it.

Thanks Mishaal Rahman for the tip!


Source: Android Developer Docs, Jetpack Library

Via: Mishaal Rahman

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