It seems that Google may have done it again.
We all understand that, apart from raw power and potential, Android leads the mobile market when it comes down to sheer customization. The various forms of Android, both in hardware and software, have always allowed for a tremendous amount of customizing from a user. Ranging from the basic look, to the very method in which the OS runs, we’ve seen Android users come up some amazingly cool things with their devices.
Now, Google is looking to take that one step forward.
Finally, Google has solidified Project Ara and looks to push it into the beta stages early next year.
What is Project Ara, you ask?
Ara is going to be Google’s attempt to take the customization out of the software only arena and bring it into the physical hardware of your favorite devices. Simply put, these are going to be mobiles that you can design and build your way, when you want, how you want.
Billed as a modular phone, Ara will allow you to remove almost any aspect of a mobile device, from the RAM, ROM, screens or just the basic housings, and change it out for something else that you feel fits your needs a little better.
For example, if you’re okay with not the greatest camera, but graphics and display quality is all you want, you can switch out a camera for a smaller, less powerful version, or leave it off altogether, in lieu of a screen and GPU that’s going to handle your demands. On the flip side, if processing power is all you care about and the brightest and best screen isn’t your concern, a few snaps later and you’ve replaced your unwanted hardware with something a bit more your speed.
The short story to the Ara phone is this. Google believes that everything concerning your gadgets and devices, from the software they run to the way they’re built, should be up to the consumer. This is the exact approach to the PC market that keeps so many people staying away from Apple products. Apple is notoriously finicky about their hardware. You can, however, design your own PC from the ground up with a myriad of parts and customizable features. Fans, controllers, etc.
The Ara phone is just that. And with any luck, once the beta stages are over and they begin to creep towards the solid production setup they’d need to make it viable, our mobile phones will just as amoebic when it comes to what we want.
The Ara, as stated, is still in the early beta stages. Not many of the handsets even exist, and all are still considered prototypes. This basically means that it is far from perfect and far from available for release. It’s a large undertaking to release a device meant to be changed out as we see fit. And it won’t be viable to many basic users, but the market that’s comfortable with the idea of upgrading a phone’s internals instead of buying an entire new phone is one that would likely show up on the day of launch for the Ara.