What Is Android Things? Everything You Need to Know

Are you an IoT fan? If you are, then this is good news for you. The release of the first version of Android Things is a step in the right direction for improving the IoT scenario.

Android Things will bring improvements such as secure software stacks and updates only a week or two after they are available (does not apply to important version updates). Frequent updates are undoubtedly something the Android world needs and at least the first version is out.

Android Things (formally known as Brillo) is designed to work on gadgets with the Internet of Things such as smart thermostats. If every device out there has Android, all the devices you would own would be able to communicate with one another and make things a lot easier.

Devices with Android Things will be updated directly from Google; that means users will get a security update every month. By getting the updates directly from Google, you can say goodbye to having to wait who knows how long for an update from a developer.

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Another benefit would be that there would be three years of support for System-on-modules such as Qualcomm SDA212, MediaTek MT8516, NXP i.MX8M, Qualcomm SDA 624 hardware platforms.

Android Things devices won’t have a personalized OS. Android Things is an OS that will run in the background, and you won’t be able to tell it’s even there. Therefore, you won’t be able to go to Google Play and install a particular app.

The idea is for Android Things to be an optimized operating system for low-powered devices, and for it to have an effectively organized system so it can get the latest security/software updates. Android Things will also need hardware kits that will only be approved by Google.

These kits consist of:

  • Wi-Fi antenna
  • 5- inch multi-touch display
  • Pico i.MX7Dual development board
  • Camera module
  • The necessary cables and screws

For Google, the benefits are a more significant ad placement and data collection since Android would be one universal OS. Android Things also benefits developers since it works in the same way as the Android they have always known. It cuts about ninety percent of the software development work for developers.

The benefits for users is that all the devices you own will be in unison and you’ll also get faster security updates. Android Things’ current security situation is not what it should be.

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For starters, right now it won’t prevent your data from being leaked to the Internet. If you install Android Things with certain gadgets, hackers wouldn’t have a hard time getting your information if they tried. It’s still in its early stages.

Android Things will also fix the mess of far too many individual platforms. This is something that only confuses, but hopefully, you won’t have to wait too long for interoperability.

Android Things is also offering support for the current independent IoT platform Weave. Weave support will come in handy since companies such as Samsung and Philips currently have devices that run on Weave.

The problem that Brillo had was that it used the coding language C++. Android Things embraces Java, making things a lot easier.

It’s still in its early stages, and there are still a lot of things to work out. Version one was released in May of this year and devices containing Android Things will be seen at the start of 2019.

You’ll still have to wait quite a bit until you can see Android Things do something that will impress you. Expect to see Android Things on devices such as iHome and LG speakers. Other companies that plan to have Android Things on their devices include Lenovo, JBL, and LG.

While Android Things will be available on these devices, the first devices that will have it are Smart Speakers and Smart Displays with Google Assistant.

Android Things aims to fix the problems users are currently having with IoT devices. Don’t expect too much from it since the first official version was just recently released. What changes would you like to see? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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