NEWS

Android creator is building an AI phone that texts people for you

Essential Products Inc., the consumer electronics startup run by Android creator Andy Rubin, is putting most projects aside to focus on development of a new kind of phone that will try to mimic the user and automatically respond to messages on their behalf, according to people familiar with the plans.

The company paused development of a planned home speaker, months after canceling a different smartphone that had been in the works, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. Sales of an earlier phone were disappointing, and the company is abandoning the effort partly because the product is too similar to others on the market. Essential had considered selling itself this year after a series of setbacks…