GOOGLE HAS GIVEN CLARITY to its strategy for its Android Things platform, and it sounds like it's a lot less far-reaching than we thought.
The platform, originally known as "Project Brillo" launched in 2016, and was billed as being able to bring smarts to all kinds of gadgets. Now, the company has announced it is to "refocus" work on smart speakers and displays - in other words, Google Assistant products.
Other projects will be covered by the Google Assistant Connect API, moving the hard graft to the Google Cloud and off the devices, but ultimately giving far more control to the Big G.
Even Google Home Hub doesn't work on Android Things. Developers can do what they like with Android Things, but manufacturers won't be able to release products that run with it, other than next-gen assistants, speakers and displays.
Quoth the Android Developers Blog: "Over the past year, Google has worked closely with partners to create consumer products powered by Android Things with the Google Assistant built-in. Given the successes we have seen with our partners in smart speakers and smart displays, we are refocusing Android Things as a platform for OEM partners to build devices in those categories moving forward.
"Therefore, support for production System on Modules (SoMs) based on NXP, Qualcomm, and MediaTek hardware will not be made available through the public developer platform at this time."
So it's still great news for "makers" but it remains to be seen whether third parties who have released products will go all in on the cloud instead, even if it means less control over the products.
It seems that Google is very keen on getting 360 vision on the world, and this is one more example.
The company has mentioned its Cloud IoT Core and forthcoming Cloud IoT Edge offerings as alternatives, and a range of Edge TPU development boards in the pipeline, so it's not like the project is dead - it just wants the big players where it can see them. And possibly where they can see you.
And don't get started on using Brillo with Flash. μ
Best get patching before things go balls up
That warehouse wasn't going to empty itself
Firms are are 'final stages' of negotiating a deal
Social network tries to tip the scales in its favour