Google launched Android Things back in 2016 as a simple operating system for use on a variety of smart appliances. It never actually found its way onto any Google hardware products, though, and last year the company announced it was narrowing its focus to smart speakers and displays. Now Android Things OS is hitting another obstacle on its way out the door, as non-commercial use starts being cut early next year.

As of January 5, 2021, the Android Things Developer Console will no longer accept the creation of new projects using either the NXP i.MX7D or Raspberry Pi 3B, the last of its two developer kits still in use.

Google says that developers with existing projects can continue using the Android Things Console to build images and ship OTA updates for a while longer — until January 5, 2022, to be specific. After that date, the console will be shut down completely for non-commercial use and all project data will be permanently deleted.

Although Android Things is still in use on smart displays and speakers from third-party manufactures, this is another disappointing development in the life cycle of what was once hailed as a "robust platform" that would enable Internet of Things devices to be built and maintained in large numbers.