Google changes focus, Android Things now a platform to make smart home devices

Developers looking to commercialize IoT devices will have to look at Google's other solutions

Google Home

Google’s Internet of Things (IoT) platform, Android Things, is changing focus to help manufacturers build Assistant-enabled devices.

Dave Smith, a developer advocate for IoT at Google, said in a blog post that the search giant spent the last year working with partners to create consumer products “powered by Android Things with the Google Assistant built-in.”

Smith says that the successes Google saw doing that have encouraged a focus shift for the Android Things platform.

Google will now use Android Things as a platform for manufacturers to build devices like Google Home smart speakers and smart displays.

Further, the company won’t provide support for production system-on-modules (SoMs) based on NXP, Qualcomm and MediaTek hardware through the public developer platform.

For the unfamiliar, a SoM is a board-level circuit which integrates a system function into a single module and typically serves a specific purpose, similar to a system-on-a-chip (SoC).

While Google won’t provide support for production SoMs, Smith says Android Things will continue to be a platform for experimenting with and building smart and connected devices. The company will continue to provide system images for popular hardware like the Raspberry Pi 3B and NXP i.MX7D through the Android Things console.

Developers will be able to use these to create new builds and push app updates for up to 100 devices for non-commercial use.

Google offers other solutions for developers looking to commercialize IoT products in 2019. For example, the company’s Cloud IoT Core provides secure device connectivity at scale, and the upcoming Cloud IoT Edge runtime can help manage a suite of edge computing services.

Those looking for on-device machine learning applications can look forward to Google’s upcoming Edge TPU development boards.

Source: Android Developers Blog