When Google announced that they planned to leverage the open and adaptable nature of Android to bring some much-needed order and unity to the wild west that is the internet of things, it didn’t take a genius, or even an insider, to know that nobody, not even Google, could do something like that alone. Thus, the wait began to see who all would come out of the woodwork to help bring Android Things into mainstream success. Industry watchers didn’t have to wait very long; the day after the official announcement of the Android Things IoT platform, processor maker and longtime Android platform Qualcomm has come forward as the first partner for Android Things.
The first step that Qualcomm hopes to take is to add in easy support for Android Things to their Snapdragon processors. Given the less processor-intensive nature of most IoT tasks, less mighty Snapdragons in the vein of the dedicated Snapdragon 2100 wearable processor could come down the pipeline, but Qualcomm has not announced such a thing just yet. In order to help with the outright connectivity war currently raging in the IoT space, Qualcomm plans to support a number of connectivity options on processors that they intend to be used for Android Things. Essentially, what these moves boil down to is Qualcomm doing for Android Things what Android Things plans to do for IoT; creating the lowest possible barrier of entry through platform unification.
As well as connectivity options, Snapdragon processors that support Android Things will come with support for a wide variety of sensors and peripherals out of the box. Expect to see support by default for things like cameras, as well as support for rich software and user interfaces. Onboard Google services and hardware-based security will help to ensure that Qualcomm’s implementation of Android Things does not become the next big botnet. The entire arrangement is meant to make things as easy as possible for developers and users alike by presenting a unified front and standardized protocols for the entire top-to-bottom IoT skeleton, allowing developers to focus on the features that set their devices apart, and allowing users to enjoy those devices with a minimum of fuss and maintenance.