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April 17, 2014

Project Ara Betting on Change

Android Phones Will Feature Swapable Components

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Photo Credit: meneame comunicacions, sl via flickr

If you build it, they will change it.

PhoneblocksPerhaps that’s a corny twist on the famous line from the Kevin Costner film Field of Dreams, but it’s applicable when it comes to Google’s new Project Ara modular Smartphone project. That’s because when the phones make their way into the hands of consumers next year they’re expected to change them.

Ara leader Paul Eremenko has announced the phones will be gray and retail for about $50.

The Smartphone project being launched by Google will allow users to change the physical appearance of the device. This is more than just adding a new skin to the phone but will, instead, enable owners to mix and match bodies and interface features ranging from wallpaper to the phone’s shell.

The Android device is still in the development phase and, as reported by CNet, has no lack of hurdles to surpass before the January launch date. The biggest being that Android systems, as of now, do not support the necessary drivers for control modular components.

Eremenko, during a press conference Tuesday, shrugged off the matter.

“It’s true that Android does not support dynamic hardware today,” said Eremenko. “The good news is that we’re Google.”

The necessary drivers, he said, will be due in December. That’s cutting it close with the phones going on the market one month later.

Regardless, the move could pose a serious threat to other manufacturers. Users will no longer need to change phones to get the latest components, they’ll simply be able to switch them.

Further information on Project Ara will come in July at the next developer’s conference. A few months later, in September, there will be another. This will all be followed by regulatory certification and carrier certification in November.


W. Brice McVicar is a staff writer for SiteProNews.