Google's Android Things is a new OS for the Internet of Things

It can even be used to control your smart home devices or play music.

Google is trying to save its wearable technology platform by rebranding Android Wear as Wear OS. We aren't expecting them until this summer, but we could always see a shifting timeline now that Android Things is at 1.0.

Google first announced at last year's I/O developer conference that it would be bringing Android to the dashboard of certain cars, but Volvo's announcement marks the first time that the idea is turning into reality.

In addition to offering Android as an embedded infotainment platform, Google will continue to offer Android Auto smartphone projection in as many cars as possible, which reduces distraction by eliminating the need to pick up the phone for tasks like setting Maps directions or sending messages. As AdAge was the first to report, the revamped news app will include more video from YouTube and offer faster load times, courtesy of Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Google is also highlighting startups Mirego and Byteflies who embraced Android Things to deliver a large photo display network connected to photo booths in Montreal, as well as a docking station meant to securely connect one's wearable to the cloud in order to upload their health data. In addition, Volvo owners will also be able to avail thousands of apps through the Google Play Store, optimised for Android-based auto infotainment systems. The partnership between Google and Volvo should make the Assistant features in particular be baked deeper into the car's OS than you would get with Android Auto.

About a month ago, we saw rumored images of a new 4K Chromecast like Android TV dongle through the FCC (which has been taken down since).

Assistant on Google Home has improved a lot over the past year, but it's still not as good as it is on our phones.

Google will be demoing Link Bar at I/O this week, so we'll report on new information as we receive it. Wear OS just gained smart replies and actions support, but Assistant still isn't as responsive or accurate on our wrists as it is everywhere else.

Although officially Google IO doesn't begin until tomorrow that hasn't stopped Google from beginning their announcements. If Assistant is going to be a true assistant, it needs to be the same everywhere.

So we'll see what happens here. With Amazon selling its own screen-enabled Echoes in Show and Spot, a Google-made Home with a screen would look great in our kitchens.

  • Joey Payne