Google’s Android Things toolbox helps IoT devices get connected

Google is releasing a new toolbox that will make connecting Internet of Things (IoT) hardware as simple as writing an Android app.

The search firm is showcasing Android Things via a developer preview. The new toolbox will allow IoT devices to push updates or connect to cloud services.

See also: Can Amazon’s new Dash connect IoT’s dots?

Specifically, Android Things uses such ordinary developer tools as Android Studio and the official software development kit. As well, it taps into Google Cloud Platform and Google Play Services for more options.

And in the months ahead future versions will be able to download updates as well as tap into Google’s Weave.

“This is ostensibly designed for companies building custom hardware, but you don’t need pro engineering skills to get started,” according to Engadget. “Android Things already works with Intel’s Edison, Raspberry Pi 3 and NXP’s Pico, so you can whip up a Google-powered gadget with minimal effort.”

And to ease the rollout, Google is also improving its ad hoc Weave networking itself.

To enhance Weave, some hardware like thermostats and light switches will be able to access a new device developer kit. As well, Weave devices can tap into other services like Google Assistant.

Weave the Nest together

In the future, Google intends to merge its own version of Weave with Nest’s version. As well, it will offer tools to aid the creation of mobile apps.

This flurry of activity is evidence that Google is upping its game to compete with other players like Microsoft, who are also developing their own IoT platforms.

Earlier this year, Google opened up its IoT protocol for its Nest systems, as competition with Amazon for smart home market share heats up.

Google launched its first open-source foray for Nest’s Thread protocol, which paves the way for better connectivity between IoT devices from different manufacturers and between devices and the cloud.

Google was following the lead of Amazon, which previously opened up Echo’s virtual assistant Alexa to work seamlessly with other IoT devices.

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