How to setup any Android Things device without an external monitor

3 min read
How to setup any Android Things device without an external monitor

I have been trying to boot up my Raspberry Pi 3B ever since January 2018. I had tried Raspbian, Windows 10 for IoT, and Retro Pi. None of them seemed to work for me, because despite having a wireless router, I could not have bridged internet facility from my phone to the router. This was pretty much critical for me. Enter Android Things.


I had indeed heard about Android Things before, but realized that it would work on my Raspberry Pi3 only towards the end of June 2018. Thus, I started off trying to install Android on my RPi.


Before you can start using the setup utility provided, you need to create an account first on the Android Things Console. After creating an account, you need to register a device here. In this particular case, it is going to be a Raspberry Pi 3, and you have to agree the terms for using it as a non-commercial device.

Once you are done with that, you can download the setup tools provided in the Android Things console. You can then use the instructions on this page to setup Android Things on your Raspberry Pi 3.

Optionally, you can also setup Wi-Fi on the Raspberry Pi as well. Just follow the setup instructions after you have flashed the Android Things Image on the SD Card, within the same terminal screen.


Congratulations on setting up your new IoT device. Now how would you check whether it is working or not. Obviously if the Ethernet lights are glowing, then your installation is working fine. So far great, but now how do you access the display of the Raspberry Pi Android Things given that you don’t have one.

To access your RPi3 display on your laptop:

  1. Connect Your RPi3 and your laptop on the same Wi-Fi network
  2. Connect your RPi3 to the router via Ethernet port of the same Wi-Fi router.
  3. Download Chrome Browser, and the Vysor extension
  4. You will now need the IP address of the Raspberry Pi connected to your router. You should be able to get that by navigating to your router interface in the browser
  5. Then open up a terminal, then enter adb connect ENTER_THE_IP_ADDRESS_HERE . Your PC should now be connected to your RPi3 running Android Studio
  6. Open Chrome, Then Chrome Apps, finally launch Vysor from there. In the list of connected devices you should be seeing your Raspberry Pi 3 over there. Select View next to it
  7. You can now see your Android Things screen on your laptop 🙂


Once you setup your Android Things on Raspberry Pi 3, you will notice that the time is wrong, and the timezone is also wrong. You will also notice a gear icon next to the timezone, but that wouldn’t do anything. You will have to manually change your timezone using ADB

  1. Open a terminal, execute adb shell
  2. Note which timezone would you want to apply. I want to set it to the Indian Standard Time, so I would be running the command setprop persist.sys.timezone Asia/Kolkata
  3. Then exit the adb shell
  4. Then execute adb shell date , and now you should be able to see the updated timezone. But sadly this will not reflect on the Android Things just yet.
  5. You need to restart the device in order to apply the changes.


Now that I have set up Android Things on my Raspberry Pi 3, I should now head over to trying some sample projects and running it there. If possible, me and my team, TheAndroidPeople at FOSS@Amrita will come up with something innovative Android Things Project.


🎉 You've successfully subscribed to Sparker0i's Blog!