Google Announces Android Things, A Platform for IoT

By | December 13, 2016

With the ever increasing number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, the need for a proper programming platform is becoming ever important.  Google today announced Android Things, a platform that should provide a solid foundation for those who are developing IoT solutions as well as improvements to Google Weave.  Android Things, as the name implies, is based on Android so those who are already developing on the platform can quickly and easily pick up the coding skills for IoT.

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. We incorporated the feedback from Project Brillo to include familiar tools such as Android Studio, the Android Software Development Kit (SDK), Google Play Services, and Google Cloud Platform. And in the coming months, we will provide Developer Preview updates to bring you the infrastructure for securely pushing regular OS patches, security fixes, and your own updates, as well as built-in Weave connectivity and more.

This should lower the bar for many developers to get into the IoT development game as they don’t have to learn a new code structure.  If you know Android, you inherently know Android Things.

The other big announcement was around Google Weave.  This allows developers to connect their IoT solutions to Google Cloud and other services like Google Assistant.  Weave is not necessarily new.  In fact, Google OnHub had support for Weave (although nothing was really done with it) but this update will make connecting IoT devices to the cloud easier and it lowers the burden for

Philips Hue IoT Lighting

Philips Hue IoT Lighting

developers.  They can focus on their IoT project and not have to worry so much about the cloud elements.

Weave provides all the cloud infrastructure, so that developers can focus on building their products without investing in cloud services. Weave also includes a Device SDK for supported microcontrollers and a management console. The Weave Device SDK currently supports schemas for light bulbs, smart plugs and switches, and thermostats. In the coming months we will be adding support for additional device types, custom schemas/traits, and a mobile application API for Android and iOS. Finally, we’re also working towards merging Weave and Nest Weave to enable all classes of devices to connect with each other in a secure and reliable way. So whether you started with Google Weave or Nest Weave, there is a path forward in the ecosystem.

The objective, of course, is to enable those who are already developing on Google platforms and solutions to add IoT to their Repertoire.  For more information, check out the Google Internet of Things developer site.

 

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