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Google Cellphones Handhelds Hardware

Project Ara: Inside Google's Modular Smartphones 70

harrymcc writes "Google is releasing more details on Project Ara, its effort — originally spearheaded by Motorola — to reinvent the smartphone in a form made up of hot-swappable modules that consumers can configure as they choose, then upgrade later as new technologies emerge. Google is aiming to release about a year from now."
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Project Ara: Inside Google's Modular Smartphones

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  • Hot-swappable? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 14erCleaner ( 745600 ) <> on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @08:46PM (#46353009) Homepage Journal
    Because you could upgrade your phone without interrupting the current call?
  • A bit ugly, (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @09:11PM (#46353227)
    From the pics in the article, it's pretty fugly... However I'd still buy one but it would be the first phone I've owned that I'd buy a case for.
  • Re: Hot-swappable? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DeTech ( 2589785 ) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @09:21PM (#46353297)
    You Jest, but a Iridium module could be a god-sent to hikers or captains.
  • by HockeyPuck ( 141947 ) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @09:26PM (#46353333)

    I do remember upgrading CPUs from 486sx to dx to adding in a 66mhz overclocking chip etc...

    However, it wasn't very long before upgrading a cpu meant buying a new motherboard.

    A phone on the other hand... if you want it to be small and lightweight with no bulky connectors... it won't be field upgradable. Look at ultrabooks with their soldered on ram and SSD modules vs a W series Lenovo with dual expansion bays...

    I also seem to recall at the S5 launch that the audience applauded the phone being dust and waterproof. Not sure how you can do this with all sorts of connectors.

    Though I do applaud them for trying and maybe something good will come out of it.

  • by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @09:41PM (#46353481)

    For this to take off, it has to offer more than just upgradable specs... because people generally buy what they can at purchase and phones are at a place now where computers were at around 2003-4, speed gains still to be had but the majorly common tasks no longer benefitted from upgrading the bleeding edge hardware as much because the old stuff didn't feel quite so anemic anymore.

    That means modules with hardware that adds capabilities and not just speed. Problem is that, as seen in the console market, most apps don't cater to what can be connect but what is connected by default.

    Google could carve out a definite niche with this, but I'm not really seeing it as a marketshare dominator.

  • by HockeyPuck ( 141947 ) on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @09:43PM (#46353497)

    you could get companies to build peripherals for them... Google doesn't make the addons, someone else does...

    A set of Carl Zeiss lenses for your smart phone?

  • Drop-sensitivity (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jmstuckman ( 561420 ) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @01:16AM (#46354517) Journal

    My Blackberry Q10 has a removable battery, and it reboots itself whenever I set it down on a desk too hard. Most or all smartphones with removable batteries that I've used in the past did the same thing.

    If we can't even engineer a phone so a non-soldered battery stays connected on a mild shock, how are we going to allow for users to replace every component of their phones?

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.