In February of 2019, Google announced that it was “refocusing” Android’s IoT platform to just be for OEMs building Smart Displays and speakers. Google is now shutting down Android Things for non-commercial usage.
Google originally wanted to create an Internet-of-Things OS where it would handle the “heavy lifting” of maintaining a platform so that developers could just focus on products. Originally known as Brillo, it became Android Things in late 2016. That name change was meant to reflect how Android developers could use their existing skills to create consumer, retail, and industrial devices.
However, by early last year, Google found that Android Things was mostly being used by OEMs to build Assistant Smart Displays and speakers. As such, it ended support for those using the platform to build other types of commercial products.
At the time, it continued to allow “experimenting with and building smart, connected devices.” That’s now coming to an end with a banner on existing Android Things developer documentation and the frequently asked question page (via Ars Technica) detailing shutdown plans.
There are two key dates, with the Android Things Console no longer allowing new NXP i.MX7D and Raspberry Pi 3B projects to be created on January 5, 2021:
Developers can continue to use the Android Things console to build images and serve 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 Android Things shutdown.
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 and securely connect, manage, and ingest data from millions of globally dispersed devices.” Edge TPUs are similarly available.
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