Google Is Refocusing Android Things to Cater to Smart Speakers and Display

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Google Is Refocusing Android Things to Cater to Smart Speakers and Display

Android Things was announced back in 2015 as a platform for IoT devices

  • Android Things was announced at Google I/O 2015
  • The platform was originally built for IoT devices
  • Future development will be limited to smart displays and speakers

At Google and beyond, Android is typically used to refer to the operating system for smartphones. However, Google also develops platforms for different devices under the Android brand, including Android TV for smart TVs and Android Things for Internet-of-things (IoT) applications and devices. However, according to a new announcement by Google through a new blog post, it is refocusing the Android Things platform to concentrate only on smart speakers and smart displays, and future development will likely be limited to these applications only.

The blog post further elaborates on how support for production System-on-Modules (SoMs) based on NXP, Qualcomm, and MediaTek hardware will not be made available through the public developer platform going forward. However, system images for popular hardware such as the Raspberry Pi 3B will still be available through the developer console for non-commercial use.

The focus is said to be shifting to smart speakers and smart displays as Google claims to have seen some success with OEMs in this space, and these are indeed considered the future of IoT in general. A lot of smart speakers and displays have the ability to control other IoT devices around the house, including smart switches and lightbulbs, and thus focusing development on these could be considered a smart move from a resource allocation standpoint.

Google isn't pulling out of the IoT space altogether, with its Cloud IoT Core and Cloud IoT Edge platforms available for commercial applications. The announcement simply brings the Android Things brand out of the IoT space, and limits it to the more widely used and consumer oriented smart speakers and displays space.


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Ali Pardiwala

Ali has over eight years of experience in the technology space, specialising in writing about all kinds of audio gear and TVs. He’s reviewed all kinds of headphones, speakers, audio gear, and televisions over the years, and is the in-house expert on all gadgets with screens and audio drivers. He is of the firm belief that truly wireless earphones are the future, and will always recommend a 4K TV, but not necessarily a smart TV. In his spare time, Ali likes to watch TV shows and movies ...More

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