It wouldn’t be a “normal” year without Google destroying a service or platform. Immediately, the search giant announced that Android Things, a highly disabled, Android-based operating system for Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices, will close early next year.
The writing was on the wall, so today’s news is not a big surprise. In February 2019, Google announced that it would once again focus on Android Things to help OEMs build smart speakers and displays. At the time, the company said it would continue to support the hobbyists’ experimentation with the operating system. “Over the past year, Google has worked closely with partners to create consumer products powered by Android Things with the built-in Google Assistant. Given the success we’ve seen with our partners in smart speakers and smart displays, we’re refocusing Android Things as a platform for OEM partners to build devices in these categories as we move forward, ”Google said in 2019.
However, a new FAQ page (via ArsTechnica) reveals that Google will discontinue any non-commercial use of the Android Things platform. Starting with January 5, 2021, the Android Things console will stop supporting new projects, and starting with January 5, 2022, the Android Things console will be disabled for all existing projects. Soon, the only products that can run Android Things will be those built on commercial hardware (system-on-module) SoMs from vendors such as NXP, Qualcomm and MediaTek, but they are “only available to specific OEM partners who build speakers.” smart and smart displays. “
Google did some things right with Android Things. When it was announced, Google took an approach that prevented OEMs from modeling the operating system and said updates would be distributed centrally by Google approximately every three years. But the platform proved to be too unpopular for the IoT world and soon Google continued. That being said, Google has other IoT platforms, including Google Smart Home. But it is an ignominious end of a platform that has never taken off.