Google’s Re-branded Brillo: Android Things (IoT) Developers Preview
Google is always very innovative in providing Internet-related products and services, out of which the latest one is the developer preview and re-brand of project Brillo, named Android Things. It is meant to power smart devices and Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets. Combined with Weave, this software is expected to play a major part in the IoT’s strategy.
What is Android Things?
Android Things is launched by Google and is its Android-based device OS for Internet of Things. This new comprehensive IoT platform is used in building smart devices using Android APIs and Google services. It runs on devices like connected speakers, security cameras, routers and so on. The Android Things OS is supposed to make things easier for the companies to start shipping IoT hardware.
What about Brillo?
Android Things is the re-branded version of Google’s Brillo. Brillo was an Android-based IoT that Google had announced in 2015, added with tools like Android Studio, the Android Software Development Kit (SDK), Google Play Services, and Google Cloud Platform. Even though the center part was Android, the development and deployment experience was significantly different from the regular Android development. According to reports from a Google spokesperson, it is stated that the company is seeing Android Things as an evolution of Brillo.
Brillo didn’t get much attention during that time as the experienced developers itself found it difficult to work on a new project. But now this is not the case, as they have access to the same familiar tools.
About its Hardware
Here, the good news is that the development of Android Things is similar to the development of Android mobile wherein it involves writing apps using the Android framework and tools. All that is needed for the development is a development board that is flashed with the Android Things OS and the needed peripherals for your device.
Its hardware mainly supports three boards, and they are as follows:
- Intel Edison
- NXP Pico i.MX6UL
- Raspberry Pi 3
Major support is coming up for the Intel Joule and the NXP Argon i.MX6UL. These boards consist of a combination of both Intel and ARM-based CPUs in which it supports both 32-bits and 64-bits. The minimum RAM amount supporting is 512MB, and all the three boards support Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Android uses the Linux kernel at its core, Linux is a fully multitasking operating system with virtual memory support which specifies that Android Things needs a processor that support virtual memory. Among the three boards, the most popular board that is currently supported is the Raspberry Pi. This is cheap, well known and easy to acquire.
Weave, Google’s IoT communication protocol will be soon added along with the Android Things support system. This enables the devices to connect to Google Cloud services for the setup and assists in the communication to other gadgets as well.
Now, most of the Android Application Development Companies are trying to implement into the IoT industry, wherein they find Android Things make the connected embedded devices easy by providing same Android development tools, best-in-class frameworks and so on.
Android Things seems to be a winning formula, with having access to popular hardware platforms like the Raspberry Pi. And is now well established among the developers across the world.