Finally, it's the group messaging functionality, available via the Google Assistant. The Mountain View, California-based firm will be offering free security patches, bug fixes, and stability improvements for every long-term support version of Android Things over the first three years of its availability, whereas the solution itself has also been created to allow manufacturers to continue pushing out their own updates and patches even after that period ends. It is also considering automated security scans of device makers' apps. Android TV is still a bit player in a game dominated by Roku and Apple TV, but if the JBL Link Bar is a sign of things to come, that could change in 2018.
There are already a plenty of selections for enjoying Android TV in your entertainment room, including Xiaomi's $69 set-top box - but it'd be interesting to hear Google shrink the platform into a dongle that hides behind your television set and update the user interface. On the horizon are smart speakers from LG and iHome, as well as smart displays from Lenovo, LG, and JBL.
Lastly, there's the arrival of some new visual templates for Android Auto, giving the UI a refreshed look.
The features are embedded, eliminating the need to connect an Android smartphone.
Arete Research analyst Richard Kramer, on Android's prior successes in branching out: "If you're charitable, you say it's early". Besides that, support for Actions was also added that lets you do things like turn on your connected oven, and the ability to hear responses to questions from your watch, just like on your phone.
Android Things software was initially a rebranding of Brillo, an Internet of Things OS Google debuted in May 2015. The festivities officially kick off with an opening keynote from Google CEO, Sundar Pichai at at 10AM PT / 1PM ET / 7PM CET / 10:30PM IST.
South Asia and Latin America are bright spots, they said. We'll obviously get a whole lot of info about the next version of Android, but no doubt AI, AR, Assistant, and other Google products will have their moment as well.