It’s getting real, you guys. Google’s Project ARA is the most exciting thing to happen to smartphone hardware since the launch of the iPhone. It’s truly a game changer. The project is now one step closer to becoming a reality as Google has filed an application for a trademark for the ARA name. This means that Google is on track to release the product and that they probably won’t be changing the name when it is finally launch time. Google may change things on us like they did at the last minute with KitKat, but with this trademark for ARA they appear to be locking in the name.
Project ARA is what Google envisions as the future of smartphones. The device that has come out of the project is a modular phone with hot-swappable pieces. You can swap out the screen, the camera, the processor, the RAM; virtually every part of the phone can be switched out to build exactly what you want. If you want a brilliant screen and an extra-large battery in your phone, you can make that. If you want a great camera and the fastest processor, but you don’t care as much about having the highest screen resolution, you can build your phone with those modules. All of these pieces snap into a frame or endoskeleton. The endoskeleton will be relatively inexpensive, leaving you to spend your money on the components that you want. The implications of Project ARA for smartphone manufacturing and the overall cost of devices is mind blowing.
Google has already released a developer’s board so that manufacturers and devs can get a head start. Google has said that Project ARA will be ready for a beta release in the early part of 2015. It could be January, it could be March, but we are expecting a release sometime in Q1 of next year. We know that ARA devices will run on a modified version of Android 5.0 Lollipop that will meet the modular, hot-swappable needs of ARA smartphones. We can’t wait.