In February 2019, Google announced that it was “reorienting” the Android IoT platform to be only for OEMs that build smart displays and speakers. Google is now shutting down Android Things for non-commercial use.
Google initially wanted to create an Internet-of-Things operating system to handle the “heavy lifting” of platform maintenance so that developers could focus only on products. Originally known as Brillo, it became Android Things in late 2016. This name change was meant to reflect how Android developers could use their existing skills to create consumer, retail and industrial devices.
However, early last year, Google found that Android Things was used primarily by OEMs to build smart displays and speakers for the assistant. As such, it has concluded support for those who use the platform to build other types of commercial products.
At the time, it continued to allow “experimentation and the construction of connected smart devices.” This is now coming to an end with a banner on the existing documentation for Android Things developers and the FAQ page (via Ars Technica) detailing the closure plans.
There are two key data, Android Things Console no longer allows the creation of new projects NXP i.MX7D and Raspberry Pi 3B on January 5, 2021:
Developers can still use the Android Things console to create images and release OTA updates for their existing projects until January 5, 2022.
A year later, Google will get rid of the console and “all project data will be permanently deleted – including build configurations and factory images”, thus completing the closure of Android Things.
Those looking for another solution are advised to look at Cloud IoT Core. Available from Google Cloud, it’s a “fully managed service that allows you to easily, securely connect and ingest data from millions of devices across the globe.” Edge TPUs are similarly available.
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