One of the most overlooked differences between a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino is that the Pi lacks an analogue interface. Components such as potentiometers, sliders, etc, need an analogue interface to correctly communicate their state, otherwise they report as either on or off, as in a digital interface. The Analog Zero provides a bridge from the analogue to the digital world, via an MCP3008 chip. This chip reads the state of the analogue inputs, of which there can be up to eight, and then converts them for use with the standard digital GPIO pin.
The Analog Zero board comes as a DIY kit, but it takes relatively little time to assemble, although once again you will need to get your soldering iron out. The board also provides a small prototyping area, in case you wish to build it into a project.
The software side of things is sheer simplicity: essentially, you don’t need to install any. The software for this board is built into GPIO Zero, the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s own Python library. So all you need to do is configure your project to use the board via the GPIO Zero interface, and then start hacking with new analogue components.
Analog Zero can be used with all Raspberry Pi models that come with 40-pin GPIO. It follows the guidelines for a pHAT board, in that it matches the outline of the Pi Zero board.