2 min read

The Android Things platform was launched in 2018 to power third-party smart displays and other speakers. Last year, a number of major manufacturers, including, Lenovo, JBL, and LG Smart Displays, released Smart Displays and speakers powered by Android Things. With the success achieved because of the smart displays and speakers over the past year, Google is now refocusing Android Things as a platform for OEM partners to build devices in those categories with Assistant built-in. They announced an update to Android Things in a blog post by Dave Smith, Developer Advocate for IoT, yesterday.

Android Things uses the Android Things SDK on top of hardware like the NXP i.MX7D and Raspberry Pi 3B. According to Google’s blog post, Android Things is a platform for experimenting with and building smart connected devices. System images will be available through the Android Things console where developers can easily create new builds and push app updates for up to 100 devices for non-commercial use. Though, support for production System on Modules (SoMs) based on NXP, Qualcomm, and MediaTek hardware won’t be available through the public developer platform currently.

This refocus doesn’t seem to be on lines with Google’s original vision for Android Things which is Internet-of-Things. Even Google’s Internet-of-Things OS called Brillo got rebranded to Android Things in late 2016. The focus seems to be on smart displays and smart speakers now.

Google’s official post states that the team will continue to provide the platform for IoT devices, including turnkey hardware solutions. It is also pushing developers interested in turnkey hardware solutions to Cloud IoT Core for secure device connectivity at scale and the upcoming Cloud IoT Edge runtime for managed edge computing services.

Google hasn’t stated any reasons for the shift of Android Things from general purpose IoT devices to smart displays and speakers, but the rising competition could be one of the reasons.

According to a few users, it is bad news as Google keeps killing its good projects.

Read Next

Google announces the general availability of a new API for Google Docs

Apple and Google slammed by Human Rights groups for hosting Absher, a Saudi app that tracks women

Youtube promises o reduce recommendations of ‘conspiracy theory’. Ex-googler explains why this is a ‘historic victory’