Google Jumps Into IoT with Android Things

Posted on December 15, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Cloud, Dev, Hardware with 9 Comments

Google Jumps Into IoT with Android Things

Years in the making, Google’s Internet of Things (IoT) platform, now called Android Things, is ready for its first developer preview.

Google Things previously went by the moniker “Project Brillo,” a name that indicated how unready it was for real-world use. But with this new branding and an expanded set of functionality, Google Things is ready for its debut, Google says.

“Android Things is a comprehensive way to build IoT products with the power of Android, one of the world’s most supported operating systems,” Google developer advocate Wayne Piekarski writes in a new post to the Google Developers Blog. “Now any Android developer can quickly build a smart device using Android APIs and Google services, while staying highly secure with updates direct from Google.”

What this means to developers is that they can use familiar, if freaking terrible, tools like Android Studio, plus the Android Software Development Kit (SDK), Google Play Services, and Google Cloud Platform to build IoT solutions.

As is the case with Microsoft’s IoT solution, Windows IoT Core, Google is working with partners to provide what it calls turnkey hardware solutions, including in this case the Intel Edison, NXP Pico, and Raspberry Pi 3. For whatever it’s worth, Microsoft’s solution has far broader hardware support, mostly because it’s been in-market for over a year, including popular options like the Raspberry Pi 3 and Pi 2.

You can learn more about Android Things, as well as related services like the Google Weave intra-device communications platform, at the Google IoT website.


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Comments (9)

9 responses to “Google Jumps Into IoT with Android Things”

  1. 5486

    Android has many, many times more active developers out there than Windows 10, and as Android is based on Linux, I can see this being pretty popular. If all the tools are there and the framework is in place, it doesn't really matter *what* MS try, this will likely be immensely popular.

    Honestly, who the heck wants to run Windows 10 on an IoT device - really? It just doesn't make sense from so many angles. MS are trying to shoehorn a legacy kernel that was built for PC's into something way, way smaller. MS can call it 'one windows' all they like, it's still Windows at heart. Even on ARM, it's pretty heavy weight. Dev's weren't interested in WM, and I just can't see they're going to have any interest in Win10 IoT.

    • 5496

      In reply to ghostri
      Windows IOT is not the same Windows 10 as on the desktop or phone.
    • 4841

      In reply to ghostrider:

      Take a read at the article below wholly before writing further uninformed posts about legacy kernels being heavy weight, please:

    • 6447

      In reply to ghostrider:
      One developer's thoughts - I have a day job that is a mix of Linux, Android, embedded firmware, and a single win32/MFC application that continues to be maintained and features added for a customer. I assure you hell will freeze over before there is any interest in porting it to UWP, or running it on a portable emulated x86 ARM device. It requires the capability to burn DVDs for one thing and I guarantee would choke on an emulator anyway.
      I am really excited about this Android Things since I know my way around Android development already. I had it loaded and running on my Raspberry PI 3 that day. I also like that it is cross platform development of which I use all 3 (Win/Mac/Linux), in contrast to those who think (trying to) do everything from personal to work on a single windows phone connected to a monitor is the holy grail. 
      Honestly I have had zero interest in Windows in any form (other than currently using it 50% of my day for running "legacy programs"). Sure C# seems to be a decent language but Java is similar and good enough, with many things going for it. But I am not driven by where the $$$ is, just what I am interested in. I know $$$ is ultimately where developers will go so we'll see.


  2. 4841

    You called OS "Google Things" twice in your article. Mistake? :)

  3. 217

    All these companies are trying to get into the IoT Wild West territory, but until there's some standardization between various devices, you can add Android Things to the growing list of IoT non-starter platforms.

    Microsoft's IoT platform is a bigger joke and a non-starter, it's far too limiting in both functionality and capability. 

    TL;DR We need frameworks for IoT not more platforms.

  4. 6447

    Android studio is quite good, if you could be specific about what is freaking terrible about it. Maybe you are only comfortable with visual studio on windows targeting windows programs.

  5. 3270

    Android Studio is not terrible, you're just not used to it.  

  6. 5234

    "For whatever it’s worth, Microsoft’s solution has far broader hardware support, mostly because it’s been in-market for over a year, including popular options like the Raspberry Pi 3 and Pi 2."


    NO IT DOESN'T!!  Android is available for countless ARM devices.  The Linux kernel has been around for Raspberry Pi far longer than the Windows one.

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