Google and Apple have been competitors to each other, and now in the field of Internet of Things (IoT), Google is ready to go further than just competing with Apple HomeKit. The company has announced a new IoT platform “Android Things,” which allows developers to build smart devices on top of Android APIs and Google services.
It’s just like Android for IoT. The platform offers development tools such as Android Studio, the Android Software Development Kit (SDK), Google Play Services and Google Cloud Platform. As for Weave, Google’s IoT communications platform that works like Apple HomeKit, there will be support for Developer Preview updates.
It’s not the first time that Google released an IoT platform. Back at Google I/O 2015, the company debuted “Brillo,” aiming to become an Android-based embedded IoT operating system platform. However, it never saw a major adoption by developers.
Google said it will work with early Brillo adopters to migrate their projects to the new platform Android Things.
Developers can start projects with Android Things right away. Google provides three hardware solutions for developers: Intel Edison, NXP Pico and Raspberry Pi 3.
In addition, Google is updating the Weave platform supporting devices to interact with Google Assistant, the Google version of Amazon Alexa. In other words, devices makers already using Weave can update their devices to add on the Google Assistant skill as well. Among the device makers are Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Belkin WeMo, LiFX, Honeywell, Wink, TP-Link and First Alert.
The Weave Device SDK currently supports home device schemas for light bulbs, smart plugs and switches and thermostats. Google said it will add more device types, custom schemas and a mobile application API for Android and iOS in coming months.
Google’s Weave system is different from Nest’s Weave communication protocol, but the Google said it is working on merging them as one unified platform.