Project ARA

Android Community Weekly Digest: Aug. 23, 2015

This has definitely been a big Android week with some unexpected surprises. Google finally revealed the name of the next Android release, 6.0 Marshmallow. At the same time, it released the third and last Android M preview, giving developers the green light to start porting and testing their apps and signaling its impeding launch. Google has also released a promised update to Android Wear which brings official support to interactive faces. Sadly, it's not all good news at Mountain View, as Project Ara announced a delay in its plans due to some technical problems.

Project Ara’s module magnets failed drop test, new alternative soon

In technology, an idea is only as good as the execution – and in Project Ara’s case, we were ready to accept Google’s idea that “electropermanent magnets” will hold the modules of the concept modular phone together. Today, it seems that the execution part for these clever magnets have failed the dreaded drop test, and Google is looking for another way to keep its modular phone together – in literal and metaphorical senses too.

Project Ara pushed to 2016, looking for new test locations in US

We haven’t heard from Project Ara in a while, so it’s nice that we have news again. If you don’t remember what Project Ara is, it’s Google’s attempt at making a smartphone with modular replaceable parts, taken from the Phonebloks campaign. There have been some good breakthroughs in the project, but what we’re hearing now is that there will be a major delay to launching a working prototype.

Project Ara’s market pilot re-routed, no more Puerto Rico launch

We've always been optimistic about the Project Ara but looks like we have to wait some more before we finally see an actual modular phone from Google. This project is taking so long and we were promised by the Internet giant it will be ready this year first in Puerto Rico. Sadly, some major changes have been made-- there will no longer be a Puerto Rico market launch due to some "recalculation".

Fairphone 2 is the modular phone you can get at sooner than Ara

What if you wanted to get your hands on a modular phone in a relatively shorter amount of time, rather than wait for Google’s Project Ara? Google did show a working prototype of its own modular smartphone project at Google I/O 2015, but the reality of the product going to market is still a ways off. Not so with the Fairphone 2. Not only is it modular (after a fashion), not only is it committed to non-“conflict” minerals, but you can actually get your hands on it soon.

Functioning Project Ara shown off at Google I/O 2015

The Project Ara is real. Before you think that the concept won't see the light of the day. Google finally showed off the modular phone at the Google I/O 2015 conference. The tech giant may have given focus on projects Soli and Jacquard but the appeareance of the before the show ended was memorable. It was good to see the Project Ara in the flesh, already functional and the swappable modules being demonstrated.

Nexpaq is the first ever modular smartphone case

The Project Ara is still on but some geeks are getting impatient with it. While waiting for the modular smartphone, a group of guys went to Kickstarter to introduce a new phone case that features several modules just like the Project Ara phone. Called as the nexpaq, this protective case is the first truly modular smartphone case that allows the user to be in control.

Project Ara gets a radiation sensor

We have talked several times about the Project Ara smartphone that has modules that can be added and removed from the device itself to give the phone new capabilities as needed. A Russian company called Intersoft has presented its first modules at the second Ara developers conference.

Click ARM One is a modular tablet device, limited edition for pre-order

We all know of Google’s attempt to change the world of smartphones with Project ARA, a modular smartphone that is gaining good and positive momentum even as you read this. Then there’s “Blocks”, who wants to be the Project ARA of smartwatches. But a modular tablet project amazingly flew under the radar when it seems like the next big idea – but now we’re seeing it in the “Click ARM One”.
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