New Project Ara details arrive, fully functional prototype teased
Depending on whom you ask, Google’s Project Ara may be primed to change the way we look as smartphone hardware forever. The modular system seeks to give users unprecedented levels of control over the kind of hardware they want making up their phones, but tons of questions remain as to how practical Ara might really be. We’re still a few months away from a retail launch, but for the first time in a while some fresh Ara news has hit our desks, as Phonebloks posts some hardware and software details.
For one, we get confirmation that a fully functional Ara prototype will be on display at the upcoming dev conference in December. That should be just another month or two away from the planned early-2015 release, so we expect to see a near-final device.
We also learn a little about how you’ll be able to move around phone modules, rearranging them or swapping-out new ones. Thanks to a custom build of Android L, the system will support hot-swapping everything except the handset’s display and its SoC module – but from cameras, to sensors, to storage, all the other components should be fair game for swapping.
Finally, there’s word that these modules will be sold through a new online storefront – not the Play Store itself, by the sound of it, but something quite similar.