Google has announced its Internet of Things (IoT) platform, Android Things, has been taken out of beta and will be available for developers to use in building connected devices.
It follows eight releases of the technology, the last of which launched less than a month ago. Making the announcement ahead of its I/O conference kicking off, Google may have been competing with Microsoft’s own Build conference, which had a strong focus on the IoT.
Despite still being in beta, a number of companies started building products for the platform months ago. This includes Google’s launch partners for its Android smart displays.
Google said: “Android Things lets you build professional, mass-market products on a trusted platform, without previous knowledge of embedded system design. It reduces the large, upfront development costs and the risks inherent in getting your idea off the ground. When you're ready to ship large quantities of devices, your costs also scale linearly and ongoing engineering and testing costs are minimised with Google-provided updates.”
According to Android Central, if the connected devices and IoT platforms all run Android, there is a huge base for data collection and the placement of adverts. However, the introduction of this platform is also likely to result in benefits for developers and consumers.
Developers will have access to a platform that has already been built and that runs on standard hardware, which can be programmed the same way. It will result in a reduction of roughly 90 per cent of production time for software development, Android Central estimated. This will lead to lower production costs.
Meanwhile, for consumers, it should mean that connected devices can communicate with each other easily, with built-in privacy and security features an added benefit.
Perhaps the most important aspect is that Android will continue to be updated, which will improve security compared to other platforms that are not, particularly when a bug or virus arises.