New Android OS, All Washed Up
Alphabet Inc’s Google is all washed up, well almost with the big search Company now set to deliver a version of Android that can be used to control washing machines and almost anything in the home.
Called ‘Android Things’ the concept of a new home OS was revealed at their annual conference for developers and if as successful as their smartphone OS their Google Assistant technology will be used to control both refrigerators and robots and in the business space cash registers and vending machines.
Their Android operating system for home appliances and other machines will come free for device manufacturers it will also open the door for Google to capture an abundance of data that will allow them to deliver targeted messaging for brands.
Though Google does not charge hardware manufacturers for Android, it expects to generate a return as consumers use new gadgets to use search, watch videos on YouTube and buy content from its Play Store.
“The goal is to enable them to be built faster, cheaper and more secure,” said Venkat Rapaka, a product management director at Google.
Android derivatives aim to provide users with a consistent interface across devices, while Google and its business partners benefit from a standard way to distribute their applications.
“If you’re charitable, you say it’s early,” said Richard Kramer of Arete Research. “If you’re not, you say Android is irrelevant outside phones.”
Android Automotive is not yet deeply embedded in any cars. Shipments of smartwatches with Google’s Wear OS were outnumbered five-to-one by rival Apple devices last year, according to research firm IDC. Four times as many smart TV shipments last year had Samsung’s (005930.KS) operating system as Android TV, according to IHS Markit.
Reuters reported that in each category, Google’s Android system posted less market share last year than manufacturer-customized Android variants, which are less fruitful for Google because they typically are not pre-loaded or compatible with its apps.
Google also has been slowed by resistance from carmakers to hand over a key interface, smartwatches from consumer electronics brands that failed to attract mass appeal and TV software that manufacturers found too rigid, analysts said.
Google officials said the spinoffs have momentum. Activations of Wear OS devices rose 70 percent late last year compared to the year-earlier period. Android TV activations doubled last year compared to the year before, while vehicles with Android embedded should arrive next year, company officials told Reuters.
Google says it will guarantee three years of free security patches to hardware makers and paid extended options. It is also considering automated security scans of device makers’ apps.