Google has officially released the first version of long-term support for Android Things, the Android operating system in the IoT field.
One of the highlights from the Android Things 1.0 release, is that Google promises to provide at least three years of over-the-air updates for each long-term support release, for free. It may be considered a positive development since many IoT devices never get updates and are left vulnerable to online attacks.
Google can issue direct updates because the Android Things is closed source and has a centralized update system, just like Windows.
The company will issue monthly security updates and occasional major OS updates to the Android Things. After the three-year support, there are “additional options for extended support,” Google says.
The new release adds hardware support for the new SoMs (System-on-Modules) based on the NXP i.MX8M, Qualcomm SDA212, Qualcomm SDA624 and MediaTek MT 8516. Previous supported hardware platforms included the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and NXP i.MX7D.
The Android Things 1.0 will power IoT devices including smart speakers, devices with Google Assistant Smart Displays and other connected gadgets.
Developers can manage gadgets powered by Android Things via a cloud-based console, where they can release app updates, view analytics for device performance and issue tests.
IoT OS competing against Android Things include Ubuntu Core, RIOT, Microsoft’s Windows IoT, and Amazon Greengrass system.