Google just released the Module Developers Kit today so manufacturers can begin to compile all the information they need on how to produce modules for its upcoming Ara device. We know that Google is allegedly getting ready to show the world a working prototype of the Project Ara smartphone in the coming weeks, and there are rumors that Google wants to begin testing a $50 WiFi only version of the device in the near future in emerging markets where WiFi hot spots are common. From the sounds of things, Ara devices will be like the Frankenstien of the smartphone world as module pieces of your RAM, your processor, your screen, your camera etc. can all come different OEMs. We can't promise we can resist the urge to scream out IT'S ALIVE once we get one of these in our own hands and power it on.
The point of releasing the Module Developers Kit now was to put it ahead of the the virtual conference that Google is holding later this month with the developers that are to be working on Ara modules. Glazing over things beforehand means that they can enter the conference already in the know about certain details that will ultimately come up at some point anyway. The Module Devlopers Kit has a good bit of information for interested manufacturers, with everything from the size of the bases for Ara devices to the specifications of the Power Storage modules. As Google has stated before, there will end up being three Ara base sizes available to consumers, so Ara devices will end up being available as small, medium, or large size phones.
Just like with Google's requirements for Android design guidelines for apps and the UI, they have a set of design guidelines in place for modules as well, which means there will be a strict rule as to how modules will be able to look, how big they can be and so on. The good things for the developers is that these rules or guidelines will only end up applying to the most common modules like the camera, CPU etc. Less mainstream or otherwise less important or unique modules can be created with a little more freedom it sounds like. With the Module Developers Kit out there for any developers and OEMs to look through everything and get going, things are starting to take an interesting turn and we can't wait to see what manufacturers, Google, and developers come up with for the future of Ara.