Google plans to shut down Android Things, a disabled version of Android designed for smart home devices. The operating system hasn’t really come off the ground, so it’s not so much a loss, but it’s still an entry into Google’s extended graveyard of closure projects.
The smart home project began in 2015 under the name Brillo, which was meant to provide the “operating system that underlies the Internet of Things.” In 2016, Google reorganized Brillo and relaunched the initiative as Android Things, which was also meant to run on products such as connected speakers, security cameras and routers. Based on Android, the operating system should have been familiar to developers and easy to get started.
Then nothing happened. In 2018, some initial smart speakers and displays came out using the underlying operating system. It seems that other companies were not interested, because in February 2019, Google announced that it is “reorienting” Android Things to respond specifically to smart speakers and smart displays.
Almost two years later, and Android Things is now about to close. Android Things Console, which allows developers to introduce updates to their devices, will no longer accept new non-commercial projects as of January 5, 2021. One year later, on January 5, 2022, “the console will be completely disabled and all project data will be deleted. definitive. “It basically means that developers have a year to complete any Android Things projects they’ve already installed.
It’s a glorious end to a project that, over the course of five years, has barely made its way into the landscape, especially as smart home devices have begun to grow in popularity.
If you’re interested, here’s the story of Android Things, told on all four titles he made The Verge: