Today Google has announced that they are “refocusing” Android Things to be a platform for OEMs to make Smart Speakers and Displays, which is awesome for those categories, but what it means is Google is basically abandoning the IoT hardware space for now.
In a blog post Google has announced the strategic shift for the Android Things platform naming a few different hardware platforms, mainly for IoT development, that will no longer be supported. The development platforms more suited to speakers and displays (NXP i.MX7D and Raspberry Pi 3B) will remain supported going forward.
Honestly there were never a great deal many devices built for the IoT using Android Things, at least as far as we can tell, however this speaks to Google’s larger inability to execute on strategy. It seems a potential long term risk for Google to have not really pushed their own IoT platform with competitors such as Amazon pushing hard in this space.
While at the moment there is good interoperability in the IoT space, jump forward a year or two and it’s not hard to see a world where the development platforms are either bought up or partner with other “smart ecosystems”. At that time will the Google Platform via Assistant, or whatever replaces it, get equal access to hardware and features?