Google plans to shut down Android Things, the stripped-down version of Android that’s designed for smart home devices.
Google revealed that the IoT platform joins the ever-growing stack of discontinued products on its developer FAQ page.
Google originally launched Android Things as the system that powers all kinds of IoT devices, a network of small, inexpensive devices like sensors and smart home devices.
But last year it decided to change its focus and make it an operating system for amplifiers and displays that manufacturers can use for their products.
Google wrote in its FAQ page: In line with these updates, we are discontinuing Android Things for non-commercial use.
The project, started in 2015 under the name Brillo, was to provide the operating system for the Internet of Things.
In 2016, Google re-launched the initiative with its new name Android Things, so that the system was supposed to work across products such as: connected speakers, security cameras and routers.
By relying on Android, the operating system was supposed to be familiar to developers and easy to get started.
Some initial smart speakers and smart screens appeared in 2018 using this operating system, but it appears that no other companies were interested in it.
Google announced in February 2019 that it is refocusing the operating system specifically to meet the needs of smart speakers and smart displays.
After nearly two years, Android Things is now on its way to being shut down, and the platform will stop accepting new, non-commercial projects from January 5, 2021.
A year later, on January 5, 2022, all project data will be permanently deleted, and this basically means that developers have a year to finish projects related to the operating system.
Android Things has largely failed to enter the IoT arena, and Google itself has not built a device based on this operating system.
Google’s displays and speakers use a modified version of the Google Cast platform instead.
Google has written detailed answers to some of the common questions that developers may ask on its Frequently Asked Questions page, such as what will happen to their current projects.
The announcement marked the troubling end of a project that has continued over the past five years but has been unable to make a significant impact on the scene, despite the boom in popularity of smart home devices.