MOUNTAIN VIEW, UNITED STATES - 2020/02/23: American multinational technology company Google logo seen at Google campus. (Photo by Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Google to shut Android Things, a smart home OS that was never launched


According to The Verge, Android Things, a stripped-down version of Android built for smart home devices, to be shut down by Google.

The OS never really got off the ground, so this is not all that much of a loss, but it is just another entry in the expansive shut-down projects graveyard of Google.

Under the name Brillo, which was intended to include the “underlying operating system for the Internet of Things,” the smart home project began in 2015. In 2016, Google redesigned Brillo and relaunched the program as Android Things, which was also intended to run on items such as connected speakers, surveillance cameras, and routers.

The OS was meant to be familiar to developers and easy to get started with by relying on Android.

Nothing happened then. In 2018, using the underlying OS, some initial smart speakers and smart displays came out.

No other businesses seem to be involved, because Google revealed it was “refocusing” Android Stuff in February 2019 to explicitly cater to smart speakers and smart displays.

About two years later, and it’s now on track to shut it down.

From January 5th, 2021, the Android Things Console, which allows developers to push updates to their smartphones, will stop accepting new non-commercial projects.

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A year later, on January 5, 2022, “the console will be completely turned down and all project information will be permanently deleted.”

This effectively means that developers have a year to finish any projects they have already set up for Android things.

For a project that barely made a dent in the landscape over five years, particularly as smart home devices began to boom in popularity, it is an inglorious ending.

About Kirigaya Kazuto

Kazuto Kirigaya, born as Kazuto Narusaka, is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Sword Art Online series of light novels written by Reki Kawahara.

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