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Google Refocusing its Android-based Platform For Smart Devices

In January, Google announced "Google Assistant Connect" - a way to build Assistant into all kinds of devices, from simple e-paper displays to connected dishwashers

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The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

Google is refocusing its Android-based platform for smart devices — Android Things — only on smart speakers and smart display categories.

“We are refocusing Android Things as a platform for original equipment manufacturers (OEM) partners to build devices in those categories moving forward,” Dave Smith, Developer Advocate for Internet of Things (IoT), Google, wrote in a blog-post on Tuesday.

Announced in 2016, Android Things was intended to be an operating system (OS) by Google for developers to code for smart devices using the tools they already knew from Android phone coding – including displays, experimental gadgets, small robots, art installations, a projector, a 3D printer and more.

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The Google logo is seen at a start-up campus in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

“Android Things continues to be a platform for experimenting with and building smart, connected devices. System images for these boards will remain available through the Android Things console where developers can create new builds and push app updates for up to 100 devices for non-commercial use,” Smith added.

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Google has recently put a bigger emphasis on using Google Assistant rather than Android Things as the connective tissue for smart devices, The Verge reported.

In January, Google announced “Google Assistant Connect” – a way to build Assistant into all kinds of devices, from simple e-paper displays to connected dishwashers. (IANS)

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Google Announces an Investment of $600 mn to Expand US Data Centre

To boost computer science education in the US, Google also announced on Thursday a $6 million grant to support 4-H, the largest youth development organisation in the US

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FILE - A woman walks past the logo for Google at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, Nov. 5, 2018. VOA

As part of its plan to invest $13 billion in building new data centres and offices in over a dozen states in the US this year, Google has announced a fresh investment of $600 million to expand its data centre in Pryor, a city in Oklahoma.

The Pryor site is an important part of the company’s global network of data centers, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said on Thursday.

This network is what powers Google searches, email, all of the photos they store and treasure, and the maps that help people find their way home.

This new investment takes Google’s total investment in Oklahoma to over $3 billion.

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

“Pryor is already home to one of Google’s largest data centers in the country. I am pleased to announce that we will be investing another $600 million to expand the data center here and create an additional 100 jobs for the Pryor community,” Pichai said.

“It’s part of our $13 billion investment in expanding our data centers across the US This week we also announced new investments in Michigan, and we’re breaking ground on a new data center in Texas,” he wrote in a blog post.

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To boost computer science education in the US, Google also announced on Thursday a $6 million grant to support 4-H, the largest youth development organisation in the US.

“This is our largest ever computer science education grant from Google.org. It will help ensure that young people in Oklahoma and 25 other states have access to the curriculum, training, and devices to learn and grow their coding skills,” Pichai said. (IANS)