Google announced the general release of Android Things (1.0), a managed operating system that enables users to build and maintain internet of things (IoT) devices at scale.
Using the new operating system, the developers can build smart and connected devices for multiple purposes like consumer, retail and industrial applications. They can use the existing Android development tools, APIs and resources to develop the new apps for devices.
Android Things is an embedded operating system which supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy and the Weave protocol, allowing multiple ways of communication between devices. It will allow developers to leverage Google’s Android partner ecosystem, machine learning capabilities, and the Google Assistant.
Furthermore, the Android Things also offers software development kits (SDKs), which will help developers to build an array of IoT devices. Google said that it is partnering with hardware manufacturers to provide more SDKs.
There is an Android Things Console, using which the developers can download and install the latest system images, manage and share OEM application across products and owners, monitor informative analytics, and push over-the-air updates.
In December 2016, it was announced as a developer preview, and since then over 10,000 developers have provided feedback about it. Google said that more than 100,000 SDKs have been downloaded in last 18 months.
In the 1.0 release, Google has added support for two new System-on-Modules (SoMs) for Android Things. These SoMs are based on NXP i.MX8M, Qualcomm SDA212, Qualcomm SDA624, and MediaTek MT8516 hardware platforms.
Android Things will continue to support the existing Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and NXP i.MX7D devices.
Google is already leading the smartphone market with Android OS. The aim of Google behind the launch of the new project is to establish its presence in the emerging IoT devices market.
To bring the Android Things products to market, Google has been working closely with LG, Lenovo, and JBL.
Announced at the annual I/O developer conference, Android Things 1.0 is available for free for non-commercial users, allowing management of up to 100 devices using the Android Things Console. The users who need to manage more than 100 devices can go for commercial subscriptions.