What you need to know
- Google plans on shuttering its struggling Android Things platform.
- Android Things was a stripped-down version of Android designed to work on Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices.
- Existing developers will have up to January 2022 to keep running their existing deployments before Google's console stop working and all data is deleted.
When it launched back in 2018, Google's Android Things platform seemed like an up-and-coming, low-cost alternative for IoT manufacturers and enthusiasts that could potentially bring some degree of standardization to the IoT world. We were certainly quite optimistic about its future.
Well, time certainly hasn't been kind to the fledgling IoT platform. After a strategic pivot to smart displays and speakers last year, Google has officially decided to kill off the platform entirely — for the most part. A recently updated FAQ page, spotted by Ars Technica, notes that,
The Android Things console will stop supporting new projects on January 5, 2021, and will be turned down for all existing projects on January 5, 2022.
That statement is more or less the death knell for Android Things. At that point, "the console will be turned down completely and all project data will be permanently deleted — including build configurations and factory images."
While "specific OEM partners building smart speakers and smart displays" using SOMs (system on module) from NXP, Qualcomm, and MediaTek will continue to be supported, Android Things is, for all intents and purposes, going on the ice come January.
When it launched the platform back in May 2018, Google promised three years of support and security updates, a promise the Mountain View giant most certainly did not live up to. The last security update for Android Things was released in August 2019, just 1 year and 3 months after launch.
This doesn't mean Google is giving up on IoT devices, of course. As Google's $3.4 billion acquisition of Nest, its continued investments into the brand, and its development of new smart home standards shows, Google is heavily invested in continuing to be a major player in the space.
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