Technology

Android Things OS powering Google Assistant smart displays nears launch

(Source: 9to5google.com)

Google rebranded its IoT operating system in late 2016 with a focus on making it easier for existing Android developers to build smart devices. The company today launched the final developer preview ahead of the upcoming stable release.

Nintendo Switch

Android Things notably powers Google Assistant smart displays announced at CES 2018. About to hit version 1.0, Developer Preview 8 focuses on production-focused console improvements, managing apps, and permissions. The feature complete SDK means there will be “no more breaking API changes before the stable v1.0 release of the SDK.”

For developers, it will be easier to pull problematic OTA updates and manage apps. They will be able to control device storage allocated to apps and data, get an overview of app-required storage, and manage APKs with individual version tracking. Developers will see a new interface for granting permissions at device boot, while app launch behavior has been modified.

In its approximately 17 month developer preview, Google added support for machine learning with TensorFlow, chipsets with 4G LTE connectivity, the Assistant SDK, and Android Oreo.

Beyond smart displays, Android Things devices announced at CES include smart speakers — with Assistant and Google Cast built-in — and various others like 3D printers and robots. Featuring certified Android Things System-on-Modules, Google promises regular feature and security updates.

Partners for the Internet-of-Things platform include Lenovo, LG, JBL, Qualcomm, MediaTek, NXP, Rockchip, iHome, Goertek, and Tymphany.

9to5Google’s Take

I/O 2018 seems like an ideal place for Google to launch Android Things in front of a wide developer audience that is already versed in Android development. Meanwhile, it’s possible that we’ll get more detail about smart display availability at the event given today’s news.

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