Googles modular Project Ara phone will start shipping soon

first_imgThings didn’t go so well for the first planned rollout for Google’s Project Ara phones. They’re ready to give it another go, however, and you’ll be able to get your first modular phone from the Big G very soon.Google’s ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects) group excitedly showed off their latest Project Ara hardware at I/O 2016. It’s no longer an ATAP project, of course. Project Ara has graduated and is about to make its way outside Google’s campus. but how soon will that happen?Developer units are scheduled to begin shipping this fall. That should give people plenty of time to create interesting Project Ara modules and experiences before the consumer version rolls out sometime in 2017. On the first Ara phones, there will be slots for six modules. One particularly neat module they showed off today: a small e-Ink display that lets you see widget-style info on the back of your phone.The new Ara prototype has come a long way. For starters, it seems to have fixed that annoying little issue where the modules popped out if you happened to drop the phone. Google also made a rather amazing tweak to the module-swapping process: you can now say “Okay Google, eject the camera” and Ara will disable the device and then pop one side loose so that you can remove it completely.You can almost hear her singing “AH ZABENYA!”Just think, the next time you upgrade your phone could be the last time you ever upgrade your entire phone in one shot. Once you have a Project Ara device, you’ll be able to upgrade individual modules whenever one component dies or no longer meets your needs.last_img