Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 11th Oct 2018 23:58 UTC, submitted by garyd
Google

Unlike regular phone Android, Android Things is not customizable by third-parties. All Android Things devices use an OS image direct from Google, and Google centrally distributes updates to all Android Things devices for three years. Android Things doesn't really have an interface. It's designed to get a device up and running and show a single app, which on the smart displays is the Google Smart Display app. Qualcomm's "Home Hub" platform was purposely built to run Android Things and this Google Assistant software - the SD624 is for smart displays, while the less powerful SDA212 is for speakers.

When it came time to build the Google Home Hub, Google didn't use any of this. At the show, I had a quick chat with Diya Jolly, Google's VP of product management, and learned that Google's Home Hub doesn't run Android Things - it's actually built on Google's Cast platform, so it's closer to a souped-up Chromecast than a stripped-down Android phone. It also doesn't use Qualcomm's SD624 Home Hub Platform. Instead, Google opted for an Amlogic chip.

This is such an incredibly Google thing to do. Build an entire platform specifically for things like smart displays, and then build a smart display that does not use said entire platform. It's a nerdy little detail that virtually no user will care about, but it just makes me wonder - why?

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A project is a silo
by dRbiG on Fri 12th Oct 2018 06:30 UTC
dRbiG
Member since:
2018-10-12

If I understand correctly the feature of Google, organisation-wise, is that each project is a silo with pretty much full autonomy.

So they chose their own hardware, looked for stacks and decided the existing weren't fitting enough, and made their own.

I'd be somewhat worried if people from the team wouldn't be able to give exact factors as to the decision not to use the existing smart display stack.

Reply Score: 5

RE: A project is a silo
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 12th Oct 2018 14:13 UTC in reply to "A project is a silo"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yes, I'm sure this is correct.

However... why wasn't the platform created for this exact use case suitable? It really looks bad for Android Things.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: A project is a silo
by Windows Sucks on Sat 13th Oct 2018 01:51 UTC in reply to "RE: A project is a silo"
Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

Yeah it’s interesting that out side of the Pixel phones nothing Google makes really uses Android any longer and at the recent event they didn’t mention Android at all.

Interesting.

Reply Score: 0

The answer why is in the article
by Moochman on Fri 12th Oct 2018 06:55 UTC
Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

They wanted to be able to use lower-powered hardware and thus be cheaper than the Android-based alternative. My guess is they had a specific price point they were aiming for, especially with the GE light bulb bundle. Whether this is the platform of the future or more of a one-off product remains to be seen.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by kurkosdr
by kurkosdr on Fri 12th Oct 2018 11:55 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

This is such an incredibly Google thing to do. Build an entire platform specifically for things like smart displays, and then build a smart display that does not use said entire platform. It's a nerdy little detail that virtually no user will care about, but it just makes me wonder - why?


How are they going to planned-obsolete the damn thing if it gets quick updates? Won't somebody thing of the sales department?

Reply Score: 1