Google’s Internet of Things (IoT) version of Android, Android Things, has been updated to Developer Preview 3. The platform, built on Android but in a much more stripped down version to work with smaller memory and hardware footprints, has been in Preview mode for well over a year now with the latest update bringing some much needed features for the platform. The idea behind Things is that, if you are a developer on Android today, you can develop on Android Things and create IoT devices. In other words, you don’t have to learn another coding language.
Perhaps the biggest new feature is support for Android Bluetooth APIs. Developers can now write to these APIs, both the Bluetooth classic and Bluetooth LE stacks, just as they can in full Android. Bluetooth is expected to be a critical part of the development of IoT so having this support on board is great to see for developers.
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Slow but surely, Google Home is getting smarter. Today the Home team announced that support for smart home devices from Belkin and Honeywell could now be controlled by the smart speaker-Google Assistant infused device. Belkin Wemo and Honeywell both make a wide range of smart home accessories that are Wi-Fi enabled such as thermostats, light switches, electrical plugs and webcams. Now you can add these to you Google Home in the Home Control section of the app and as long as everything is on the same network, you can set it up to be controlled by Google Home.
When Home was launched last year, Google was clear that more partners would be coming to the device and more integrations would be coming. So far we’ve seen Netflix added from an app perspective as well as a huge number of bots to get information from various resources. With the addition of Belkin and Honeywell, from a smart home perspective, you are no longer just tied to Nest.
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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.
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It appears that shipments for the new Google Home device have started for readers. Multiple readers have either emailed or commented on Google+ of receiving shipment notifications of the $129 Google Assistant-powered device. I too have received a shipment notification with it expected to arrive at the end of the week.
Aimed at competing with the Amazon Echo, Google Home brings the power of Google Artificial Intelligence to give you detailed information about your day, upcoming events, search information, travel information and the like. While it is for everyone in the family, it tied to a single primary Google account. Like Google OnHub, Home is aimed at sitting out in the open and doesn’t look like a piece of techno-kit sitting on a shelf.
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Earlier this week when Google Home was announced, we got a small sample of the apps and services that it will support in the event. It was pretty clear from the demos that Google Calendar, YouTube and Google Play Music would be supported, as well as some smart home solutions, but it wasn’t fully outlined. Now that has been solved thanks to a posting in the Google Support pages. The page outlines everything that is going to be supported by the Google Assistant-driven smart speaker when it starts shipping next month but you can bet this list is going to be changing as time goes on.
As for music, here is what is supported:
- Google Play Music
- YouTube Music
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Today marks the first anniversary of the release of OnHub, the home router that aimed at making Wi-Fi connectivity easy. Beyond this though, OnHub was positioned with its antenna array and other features as being a potential hub for home automation and Internet of Things (IoT) integration. To date, that promise has gone largely unfulfilled with the exception of IFTTT support a few months ago. That is changing today with an announcement from the team at Google that OnHub is now partnered with Phillips so you can control your Hue lights with your OnHub.
Today, we’re celebrating OnHub’s first birthday and announcing a new partnership with Philips Lighting, the first connected home device you can control directly with OnHub. We know people don’t like having too many apps on their phones, so we made it possible to control your home’s Philips Hue lights without downloading an app. Now anyone connected to your OnHub can type “On.Here” in a computer, tablet, or mobile browser and control the most popular features of your Philips Hue lights from there. Crank up the party lights!
It’s is a great addition to see to the router and hopefully is a sign of things to come.
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