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Sep 30, 2014

Google's Project Ara Modular Phone Will Let You Hot-Swap Everything Except the CPU and Display

Project Ara started as a bold project inside Motorola Mobility a few years ago, but after the company has been acquired by Google, the program went under the search giant’s umbrella.

Even after Motorola has been sold to Lenovo early this year, Project Ara remained a Google program and the company does seem to invest quite a lot of resources in order to bring it to consumers. The end result should be some sort of starter kit that contains various modules that can be inserted inside a frame to form a smartphone. The $50 (€35) worth of components represents certain parts of the smartphone like display, CPU, Wi-Fi and battery. Each of these modules can be swapped for a better one when an upgrade is available, which means you won’t need to switch to a new smartphone each year.

If Project Ara proves to be successful, it should be used by “six billion people,” Google claims. The good news is that we might be closer to a market release than we might think, as Google confirmed all Project Ara modular phones will run a modified version of Android L.

The cheapest Project Ara kits will cost only $50 (€35) at launch

The first Project Ara kits are expected to go on sale sometime in early 2015, but details on exact release date should become available close to launch. Now PhoneBloks blog site reports Project Ara’s head, Paul Eremenko shared more details on the modular phone, which is supposed to arrive in January 2015. According to Eremenko, those who purchase a modular smartphone will be able to hot-swap any of the components except for the CPU and the display. This means that you will be able to upgrade your phone without having to turn it off. The display and CPU components will be swappable as well, but you will have to turn off your smartphone in order to do it. The fact that the majority of the modules are hot-swappable is made possible by the modified version of Android L, which is developed by Google in collaboration with another company called Linaro.

It’s also worth mentioning that additional modules will be purchasable through a dedicated online store, which should be up the moment Project Ara kits go on sale. Speaking of which, the first fully functional Project Ara prototype is expected to be showcased at the second developer conference of the program, which is scheduled for this December. Here is hoping Google’s modular phones will be made available to consumers sooner rather than later.

Project Ara Kits
Image credits to Google
LCU14 : Opening Keynote & Project Ara
Speaker: George Grey
Location: Grand Peninsula D, Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, Burlingame, CA, United States
★ Session Summary ★
★ Resources ★
Zerista: http://lcu14.zerista.com/event/member/137700
Video credits to Linaro OnAir


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