The first stable release of Android Things means IoT developers can use the Android partner ecosystem including Google Assistant, and Google’s machine learning capabilities with an Android environment which can run on low-power and memory-constrained IoT devices. It supports Bluetooth Low Energy, Wi-Fi, and the Weave protocol. It means that every Android device can automatically recognise any Android Things or Weave-using device.
The first Android Things developer preview arrived in December 2016, an enhancement and rebranding of Google’s codename Brillo, which was first made available via an early access program for developers in October 2015.
Google said the software could do the heavy lifting with certified hardware, rich developer APIs, and secure managed software updates using Google’s back end infrastructure.
Also included in today’s announcement is three years of support for the newly announced production devices: system-on-modules (SoMs) based on the NXP i.MX8M, Qualcomm SDA212, Qualcomm SDA624, and MediaTek MT8516 hardware platforms. Google is guaranteeing support for three years, with development hardware and reference designs for these SoMs available in the coming months. Google is dropping support for the NXP i.MX6UL devices, while the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and NXP i.MX7D devices will continue to be supported as prototype hardware.
The first devices powered by Android Things to start hitting shelves “between now and the end of summer”. Google promises smart speakers from LG and iHome, as well as smart displays from Lenovo, LG, and JBL, with Google Assistant and Google Cast built in.