Google pulls the plug on IoT platform Android Things

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Android Things
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Tech giant Google is pulling its plug from its Android Things initiative after it stated that the heavily stripped-down Android-based operating system for the Internet of Things (IoT) devices which it had launched in 2016 will shut down early next year.

Internet of Things (IoT) devices are internet-connected devices such as speakers, fridges, smart home devices, etc which communicate with each other and could be controlled over the net.

Even though Google’s Android Things Dashboard, which is used for managing devices, will stop allowing new devices and projects into the system from January 5, 2021, in less than a month’s time, developers will be still allowed to update existing deployments for another year, until January 5, 2022.

After the January 5, 2022 deadline the console will be shut down completely for non-commercial use and all project data will be permanently deleted.

Meanwhile, commercial projects supported by hardware SoMs (system-on-modules) such as NXP, Qualcomm and MediaTek will continue to run the Android Things platform uninterruptedly.

Android Things was Google’s effort to create an ecosystem specifically for low-powered and memory-constrained devices that did simple functions such as a smoke alarm or a proximity sensor. With the custom OS for these devices, the search engine giant wished to control the exponentially growing IoT device market by pushing for a platform that will centrally distribute updates to all units.

Google’s reluctance to allow OEM’s to model the OS to their liking subsequently lead to lower adoptions and its eventual demise of the platform.