Google I/O is to debut later today but the company has already started announcing a few goodies. The first such product to be released officially by the company is the Android Things OS. This is a spinoff of the Android OS for the IoT devices such as smart home appliances and other gadgets. With this OS, we can expect Google Assistant to make its way to the smart refrigerators and robots too.
What is Android Things?
Android Things is an Android OS designed for the IoT devices. The smart devices such as smart home sensors, fitness trackers, smartwatches and more need internet. The original version of Android will not support low-powered hardware. So, here is a version of it designed to run on devices with low-end hardware.
Google's new OS allows devices receive software and security updates to be pushed instantly by the company. Similar to the Nexus and Pixel series devices, Google bypasses the manufacturer in order to offer instant updates to the devices based on this platform. This is an important control needed in today's era where baby monitors, TVs and every other device category needs the internet.
It will be a rival to Amazon.com's Greengrass system and Microsoft's Windows IoT. Google announces that the devices running this OS will receive three years of free security updates and extended options at a cost. It also offers automated scans of apps from the device manufacturers.
Venkat Rapaka, a product management director at Google states that the main objective behind this new OS is to make them offer a faster, more secure and cheaper platform for the smart devices. Android derivatives are aimed to offer users with a consistent interface across various devices and Google and its business partners benefit from a way to distribute the applications.
Though Google does not charge the hardware makers for the OS, it expects them to generate a return as the consumers use new gadgets to watch videos on YouTube, search, and buy content from the Play Store. The OS powers the world's smartphones and drives users to cash-minting apps of Google. But the company strives to extend the dominance of Android into other areas over the years, claim the industry analysts.