Google is scaling back its ambitions for Android Things with the announcement it will “refocus” the platform on just two device types.
Android Things, once known as ‘Project Brillo’, was first announced in 2016. The platform was designed to be an OS for all manner of ‘things’ in the fast-growing IoT (Internet of Things) market.
Given the success Google has found with smart displays and speakers, the firm has decided to focus its efforts on these products.
Dave Smith, Developer Advocate for IoT at Google, wrote in a blog post:
“Over the past year, Google has worked closely with partners to create consumer products powered by Android Things with the Google Assistant built-in.
Given the successes we have seen with our partners in smart speakers and smart displays, we are refocusing Android Things as a platform for OEM partners to build devices in those categories moving forward.
Therefore, support for production System on Modules (SoMs) based on NXP, Qualcomm, and MediaTek hardware will not be made available through the public developer platform at this time.”
Google will continue offering the Android Things SDK for developers to experiment with building IoT devices.
Developers can use popular hardware like the NXP i.MX7D and Raspberry Pi 3B for tinkering. Images for these boards can be found via the Android Things console but they’ll be limited to up to 100 devices for non-commercial use.
For commercial IoT projects, Google is recommending developers check out Cloud IoT Core for secure device connectivity at scale and the upcoming Cloud IoT Edge runtime for a suite of managed edge computing services.
Google will soon launch Edge TPU development boards for creating and testing on-device machine learning applications.
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