In December 2016, Google announced Android Things, an Android-based IOT platform. It included support for a number of different hardware boards and provided the necessary tooling to write Android apps that could talk to the different sensors on these boards.
The Android Things Console allowed you to build factory images that contain your own applications along with the system image. Through the console you could push over-the-air (OTA) seamless updates to all your devices.
It was an easy way to get started with an IOT project.
In a blog post yesterday, Google says it is going to “refocus Android Things on smart speakers and smart displays”. The majority of the current hardware boards will no longer be supported.
So… Google is abandoning the idea of using Android as a general-purpose platform for building IOT devices.
Google points to both Cloud IoT Core and Cloud IoT Edge as possible alternatives but neither of these platforms seem to be geared towards Android developers. If you were planning to do any kind of serious IOT development using Android, you’ll have to get back to the drawing board.
Personally I have been playing with Android Things for one of my (many) side projects called Displayer. I’ll have to rethink how I’m going to continue with this project. The “coming soon” will most certainly become “coming later” :(