Android Things, the IoT OS you forgot about, is shutting down

Google has announced that its Android Things smart home OS will be shutting down for good in just a few weeks, something that will impact just about nobody at all. The IoT platform never grew into anything notable and many consumers remained unaware of its existence — and as of January 5, it will join the huge list of Google projects that disappeared after a few years.

Android Things is — was — a smart home platform for IoT devices that kicked off in 2015, only it was called Brillo at the time. Soon after its introduction, Google renamed the project to Android Things, one built upon Android, but no one really cared. Few devices were launched with an Android Things underpinning.

It's really not a surprise that Google has decided to can the project entirely — the company has a solid history of launching efforts, only for them to drag along for a few years before being shuttered entirely. Few people are likely to care about this loss, however, compared to some past efforts Google has shuttered.

The closure notice appeared on the Android Developers website in a small banner, which notes that new projects will no longer be supported by the Android Things console starting on January 5, 2021. All existing projects will get a reprieve, however, and will survive until January 5, 2022.

Developers who took a risk with the Android Things option effectively have a year to wrap up any projects they may have before the console becomes inaccessible. Meanwhile, consumers have largely gravitated to Google Assistant, Alexa, and HomeKit for their smart home needs.