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Latest Android software aims to link IoT devices

Posted: 01 Jun 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Google  Android M  software  IoT  Wi-Fi 

Google has announced its latest Android software that promises to deliver a number of improvements and added features. Android M claims to bridge multiple devices, especially IoT-enabled ones, offering a smooth, intuitive mobile experience. However Google did not deliver a next-generation device showcasing its software.

Google's SVP of products, Sundar Pichai, put emphasis on creating a smooth, intuitive mobile experience across devices and location. For example, Android M sports easily accessible in-app permissions and can deliver light versions of search results that consume less data for users in remote locations.

To combat battery drain, Google announced Doze. The additional feature uses motion detection to determine when a device hasn't been in use, then shuts down battery-heavy processes. In tests, a Nexus 9 handset using Android M lasted twice as long in standby as a Nexus 9 using the previous generation, Android Lollipop.

Android M

Google was "heavily involved in creating the USB type C standard," VP of engineering Dave Burke said during Thursday's keynote. The bi-directional interconnect lets users choose whether they want to charge a device or have the device act as a charger.

In addition, Android M supports NFC-based Android Pay with support for fingerprint identification using a standard API that works across devices and sensors.

Those features may come in handy for the latest release of Android Wear, now supported on 1,500 different watch faces. The OS for wearables now has Wi-Fi support, an always-on screen that can operate in a low-power black-and-white display mode, swiping by a turn of the wrist, and the ability to draw a picture that is immediately translated into an emoji.

Android M will be available in 3Q15.

IoT gets Brillo OS, Weave protocol

Google announced an OS geared for the Internet of Things. Brillo is the result of a collaboration between Nest, Chrome and Android teams to develop an end-to-end solution with a small footprint.

Brillo has support for WiFi and Bluetooth Low Energy built in. Developers are working with Nest to add support for the Thread mesh networking protocol and other connectivity standards. Devices using Brillo can also be managed from a remote console.

Connecting billions of devices to the Internet can be a challenge, and making sure those devices can communicate which each other presents another set of difficulties. Google announced Weave, an open communications protocol, to deal with this issue.

"We need not just a common language but a shared understanding so devices can not only talk to a watch other but to things in the cloud," Pichai said.

Weave protocol

The Weave protocol can work with any OS.

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