Android Things is Google's simplified build of Android for Internet of Things devices (I still hate that term), first released last year as a developer preview. The previews only support a handful of developer boards - the Intel Edison and Joule, NXP Pico, and Raspberry Pi 3. Now Qualcomm has committed to supporting Android Things on its Snapdragon 210 SoC later this year.

The Snapdragon 210 is by no means a powerful processor, currently found in low-end devices like the Acatel Pixi 4 and Microsoft Lumia 550. However, it does have the company's X5 LTE modem for 4G LTE Advanced carrier aggregation, making it a good and affordable choice for IoT devices that have to survive outside a Wi-Fi network.

Qualcomm plans to demonstrate Android Things running on a Snapdragon 210 at Mobile World Congress, but it will not be officially ready until later this year.

Press Release

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., plans to add support for the Android Things operating system (OS) on Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 210 processors with X5 LTE modems. The Android Things OS is a new vertical of Android designed for Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and Snapdragon processors are expected to be the world's first commercial System-on-Chip (SoC) solutions to offer integrated 4G LTE support for this OS. This combination is designed to support a new class of IoT applications requiring robust, security-focused and managed connectivity including electronic signage, remote video monitoring, asset tracking, payment and vending machines and manufacturing, as well as consumer devices such as smart assistants and home appliances. Snapdragon 210 processors running Android Things OS will also allow manufactures and developers to harness the power of the Google Cloud Platform and Google services over 4G LTE in their IoT solutions. Additionally, support for Google Cast for Audio in the Snapdragon 210 processor can help facilitate the development of innovative consumer devices, and Qualcomm Technologies plans to extend support of Android Things OS on a variant of its Qualcomm® Smart Home Reference Platform.

Snapdragon 210 processors running the Android Things OS are designed to deliver exceptional edge-processing capabilities by bringing high-performance multimedia processing and compute power to IoT devices. This is designed to support several tasks including natural language processing, database queries, image and video analytics, and data processing to be performed in the device itself rather than the cloud. Performing these activities on the device helps improve application responsiveness, save data transfer costs and enhance security and privacy. The integrated 4G LTE connectivity, edge-processing and security-oriented features built into the Snapdragon 210 processor, combined with superior access to the power and scalability of the Google Cloud Platform and Google services such as Google Cast for Audio, Google Drive and Firebase Analytics, can help manufacturers and service providers deliver advanced IoT applications while managing data more efficiently and effectively.

"We are very pleased to add support for Android Things OS on Qualcomm Technologies' Snapdragon 210 processor and bring these exciting new development options to our IoT customers," said Jeffery Torrance, vice president, business development, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "Integrated 4G LTE, a first for Android Things, combined with our other wireless technologies, brings comprehensive connectivity and capabilities to the Google Cloud Platform. Developers are now able to create cost-effective, innovative connected devices and applications for both consumer and industrial IoT segments, which will help accelerate and expand the development of the overall IoT ecosystem."

Manufacturers will be able to use their expertise in Android and Snapdragon processors to help them quickly create and commercialize a variety of connected devices. They will have access to familiar connectivity environments, including cellular, Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth®; support for a wide array of sensors; camera, graphics, multimedia and rich UI capabilities. Additionally the platform offers hardware-based security; Google services and cloud integration; well-known development tools such as Qualcomm Technologies' development platforms, Android Studio and the Android SDK; widely-available test and optimization tools, and more, allowing for rapid development of scalable, cost-effective and security-focused IoT solutions.

The Snapdragon 210 processor is a cost-effective solution capable of extending 4G LTE connectivity more broadly, making it ideal for high-volume consumer and industrial IoT applications. The processor features integrated 4G LTE-Advanced Cat 4 connectivity with carrier aggregation, high-quality multimedia experiences with Full-HD (1080p) playback with hardware HEVC, high performance and power efficiency with quad-core CPU and Qualcomm® Adreno™ 304 graphics, and superior camera capabilities with up to 8 megapixel camera support and leading enhanced computational camera functionalities.

Support for Android Things on Snapdragon 210 processors is anticipated to be available later this year.

Qualcomm Technologies will demonstrate the Android Things platform running on the Snapdragon 210 processor at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, February 27March 2, Hall 3, Stand 3E10.

About Qualcomm
Qualcomm's technologies powered the smartphone revolution and connected billions of people. We pioneered 3G and 4G – and now we are leading the way to 5G and a new era of intelligent, connected devices. Our products are revolutionizing industries, including automotive, computing, IoT, healthcare and data center, and are allowing millions of devices to connect with each other in ways never before imagined. Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio.  Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, all of our engineering, research and development functions, and all of our products and services businesses, including, our QCT semiconductor business. For more information, visit Qualcomm's website, OnQ blog, Twitter and Facebook pages

Qualcomm, Snapdragon and Adreno are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries. Wi-Fi is a registered trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance. Bluetooth is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc. Other product and brand names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Qualcomm Snapdragon, Qualcomm Adreno and the Qualcomm Smart Home Reference Platform are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.