Android Things, Google’s new operating system to power your toasters, routers, refrigerators and just about everything
It is said that that the next decade will belong to Internet of Things and so most major tech companies are now focussing their might on it and Google is not far behind. Recently the search giant released the developer preview of a new Android-based Operating System which comes with different tools like Android SDK, Android Studio, Google Play Services packed into a single OS.
Android Things: Google Launches A New Operating System
The tech giant Google announced on Tuesday announced Android Things – its operating system for Internet of Things projects. Android Things OS will power various IoT products like security cameras, connected speakers, routers and everything that is connected to the Internet. With the launch of Android Things, Google takes another step to put Android everywhere, from smartphones earlier to refrigerators, toasters, routers, cameras etc.
Google’s Android Things operating system is not new, in fact, it is built on Brillo, an operating system. Brillo operating system was announced in 2015 by Google and specifically designed for the Internet of things. It seems that Google has fused Brillo operating systems with Android tools and repackaged it as Android Things operating system. The new operating system will have pretty much the same tools that Android developers are already accustomed too, such as Android Studio, Android SDK, Google Play and other Google services. This should help Internet of Things manufacturers adopt the new operating system as well as get Android developers on board for developing Apps for IoT devices.
Android Things – like project Brillo – is designed to be very small and take up low memory, about 32 Mb or 64 Mb of RAM. Google has said that it will partner with SoC (system on a chip) makers to build certified development boards containing development modules like RAM, Flash Storage, WiFi, Bluetooth and other components, and is currently recommending using Intel Edison, NXP Pico, Raspberry Pi 3 among other devices, as developer kits.
Devices running Android Things will be able to communicate with other Android and iOS devices through Weave, the company’s communication platform for Internet of Things. In future, such Android Things powered devices will also allow voice commands with Google Assistant.
Android Things and IoT security
Google’s foray into IoT OS space is noteworthy because of the growing concerns over security of Internet of Things connected devices. Recently, a botnet attack powered by Mirai malware powered a DDoS attack on a DNS provider in the United States bringing down the Internet for whole of Mid-West and East Coast of US for a full day. Android Things will hopefully cover the security aspects of IoT devices and provide timely security fixes so that the IoT will not be used for Dyn like attacks in future.