When a product does not appeal much to the market, the only way to go is to shut it down. This is what Google is planning to do to its Android Things, a smart home OS that did not exactly tickle the fancy of Google fans.
Android Things is a version of Android that is created for smart home devices. While it may have been made to cash in on the trend as more people switched to smart home systems, Android Things did not really appeal much to consumers.
Android Things was built in 2015. Back then, the smart home project was named Brillo. A year later, the search engine giant revamped Brillo and relaunched the project as Android Things. It was meant to run on different home devices like security cameras, speakers, and routers. Google expected users to be familiar with Android, and banked that its OS would likewise achieve the same familiarity and use from consumers. However, such expectations did not materialise.
In 2018, there were smart displays and speakers that came out, which relied on Android Things. Despite the long wait for other companies to be interested in using the Android-running smart home OS, no other company expressed interest. Hence, in February of 2019, Google declared that it would be realigning the use of Android Things and would only be catering to smart displays and smart speakers. The company found out that OEMs were mostly the ones using Android Things in order to build Assistant Smart Displays and speakers.
It seemed that even refocusing the smart OS to cater only to smart displays and speakers still did not perform in the way Google expected it to. Approximately two years after the move to refocus, the search engine giant sadly announced that it will be shutting down Android Things.
On Jan. 5, 2021, the Android Things Console will no longer accept non-commercial projects. This Console is the one that allows developers to push updates on their devices. On the same day in 2022, it will be shut completely. Along with the shutdown, all project data on the Console will also be permanently deleted.
For those who want other options, 9To5Google said that they can look at Cloud IoT Core, which is available in Google Cloud. This is a "fully managed service that allows you to easily and securely connect, manage, and ingest data from millions of globally dispersed devices."