'Android Things' Emerges From Beta as Google Dives Into IoT

Isaac Cain
May 8, 2018

This will include, Android Auto, Android P, Android TV, Chrome OS, Google Assistant, etc.

The Android Things Console has also been revamped as part of the new release, as seen in the gallery below, whereas automatic updates will be enabled for all devices powered by the embedded OS by default, Google said, having described the move as a continuation of its efforts to boost IoT security, one of the segment's weakest points at the moment. Plug it into your TV and yell at it to start something on YouTube or control smart home things; you can even switch HDMI inputs with a voice command alone.

Despite those reservations, automakers such as Honda, Mazda, Mercedes, Ford, Nissan, and Toyota have committed to develop a secure framework for vehicle systems, based on Android and Linux.

Google has announced a new product just a day before I/O 2018 kicks off, the JBL Link Bar, a voice controlled sound bar for your television with Android TV built-in. "Using the Google Assistant, you can easily communicate with a group of friends while keeping your hands on the wheel", Google adds. As described in the announcement, Google is making it possible for "media apps to directly integrate their results into Android Auto". Shipments of smartwatches with Google's Wear OS were outnumbered five-to-one by rival Apple Inc (AAPL.O) devices a year ago, according to research firm IDC.

More news: Microsoft Build 2018: New Windows 'Experiences' for the mobile workforce announced

Google may have gone quiet on Android Things after its initial debut more than a year ago, but it has been hard at work on the effort. But for folks on the technical side of things, Android Things 1.0 could open a whole new set of opportunities. Late last week the company sent out invitations to a June 6 event in San Francisco where it's widely believed to be showing a product similar to the one JBL announced today.

What happens after three years isn't totally clear.

Android Oreo is running on less than 5% of the Android phones, but we already got the First Developer Preview of Android P a couple of months back which revealed a ton of changes that Google has planned to make in its next Android version. Here's a quick run through of everything we all expect as of this calendar year's Google I/O. Do let us know via the comments section. Google says the Weave platform is also getting an update to make it easier for all devices to connect to the cloud and interact with services, such as the Google Assistant.

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