Google Is Refocusing Android Things to Cater to Smart Speakers and Display

Google Is Refocusing Android Things to Cater to Smart Speakers and Display

Android Things was announced back in 2015 as a platform for IoT devices

  • Android Things was announced at Google I/O 2015
  • The platform was originally built for IoT devices
  • Future development will be limited to smart displays and speakers

At Google and beyond, Android is typically used to refer to the operating system for smartphones. However, Google also develops platforms for different devices under the Android brand, including Android TV for smart TVs and Android Things for Internet-of-things (IoT) applications and devices. However, according to a new announcement by Google through a new blog post, it is refocusing the Android Things platform to concentrate only on smart speakers and smart displays, and future development will likely be limited to these applications only.

The blog post further elaborates on how support for production System-on-Modules (SoMs) based on NXP, Qualcomm, and MediaTek hardware will not be made available through the public developer platform going forward. However, system images for popular hardware such as the Raspberry Pi 3B will still be available through the developer console for non-commercial use.

The focus is said to be shifting to smart speakers and smart displays as Google claims to have seen some success with OEMs in this space, and these are indeed considered the future of IoT in general. A lot of smart speakers and displays have the ability to control other IoT devices around the house, including smart switches and lightbulbs, and thus focusing development on these could be considered a smart move from a resource allocation standpoint.

Google isn't pulling out of the IoT space altogether, with its Cloud IoT Core and Cloud IoT Edge platforms available for commercial applications. The announcement simply brings the Android Things brand out of the IoT space, and limits it to the more widely used and consumer oriented smart speakers and displays space.


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Ali Pardiwala
Ali Pardiwala writes about audio and video devices for Gadgets 360 out of Mumbai, and has covered the industry for a decade now. Ali is a Senior Reviewer for Gadgets 360, where he has regularly written about televisions, home entertainment, and mobile gaming as well. He is a firm believer in 4K and HDR on televisions, and believes that true wireless earphones are the future of the personal audio industry. Ali is available on Twitter as @AliusPardius and on email at, so do send in ...More
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