Google killed Project Ara back in 2016. It was supposed to be a program leading towards a modular phone. According to a new patent filing that was recently uncovered, Google might have not given up completely on the idea of a modular smartphone. Just how modular it will be is yet unknown. Where do we draw the line for modular phones, anyway?
The patent was filed in September 2018, and granted in January 2019. Its excerpt is as follows:
A device, includes an electronic device, with one or more processors, one or more memory devices, a display, and a first electrical connector. An electronic accessory module includes a second electrical connector. A housing receives the electronic accessory module at a first end of the housing and receives the electronic device at a second end of the housing. The housing biases the first electrical connector and the second electrical connector together and couples to both the electronic device and the electronic accessory module to secure the electronic device and the electronic accessory module within the housing.
This description does indeed fit the modular definition, where additional hardware can be connected to the main device, adding functionality to it. Batteries, cameras, and other gear could fall in this category. However, whether this will end up being the Pixel 4 or not is yet unknown. Check out the drawing at the top, or more at the source link below.