Google has launched its new OS, Android Things, on the 13th of December.
It is another version of Android capable of running on a speaker, a security camera or a router that is connected. The new operating system will result in easier shipping of hardware by companies, as they can work with Android development tools that they are familiar with.
New Name not New OS
However, though the name Android Things is new, the operating system cannot be termed as new. The new OS is a rebranding of an OS based on Android known as Brillo. It can be used for a smart device or product and was announced around a year and half ago. Brillo, however, has not progressed much and there has not been much mention about it.
By rebranding Brillo, the new updated OS will allow an easier means of developing a product using it. It is different from Brillo, in the sense that Android Things can be used for development using the same tools as the regular Android, says Google. Developers having the experience can speed up the process and work more quickly on new products.
Android Things is a kind of operating system that you cannot actually see, as it performs in a background allowing a smart device to handle difficult tasks by itself, instead of merely offloading the processing task to a server. The name Android is present in the OS, but it is not something that you can run in your Android device or an Android Wear device. Android Things is more compatible for bigger smart products with bigger capabilities. For instance, it is suitable for printers or locks or for ovens and not so much for a light bulb or a power outlet.
Connecting to Products
Android Things by itself is not a means of connecting a smart product with an Android phone. Devices that are enabled with Android Things can integrate with both an Android and an iOS device. However, the integration will be done using Weave, which is a related communication system launched by Google along with Brillo in 2015.
OS for Smart Device
The rebranding of Brillo seems to be a move on the part of Google to run its operating system on a smart device. However, it is not sure whether the new Android Things can really make that much of a difference. The success of Brillo was very limited, but it seems that Android Things can succeed better, though it all depends on the partners with whom Google has signed up.
Android Things is presently available as developer preview. In short, Android Things is a loT platform that allows developers to build a smart device over the Android API as well as over Google services. It is a combination of Brillo and tools like Android SKD, the Android Studio, Google Play Service, Google’s cloud computing service and so on. The support offered for Weave will come up in the next developer preview. It can be considered as an evolution to Brillo and adds to what the company learned from its previous project.