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Project Ara


[Update: no modular phone in the works] Project ARA founder now working for Nexpaq, designing modular phone

Following the death of Google's Project ARA, it has been revealed that Dan Makoski, founder of Project ARA and former head of design at Google ATAP, has now officially been confirmed to be working at Nexpaq. In case you don't know what Nexpaq is, it's a startup that campaigned on Kickstarter to create modular phone cases for popular phones like the iPhone 6, Galaxy S6 edge, and Galaxy S5.

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[Update] Report: Google has stopped working on Project Ara

It has been a long and winding road for Google's Project Ara, and a new report claims this is the end of the road. Sources tell Reuters that Google has suspended work on Project Ara as part of its efforts to bring together its disparate hardware projects. Google, as you might imagine, refused to comment.

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Project Ara Dev Edition Shipping This Fall, New Demo Video Shows Off Modular Cameras, Secondary Displays, And... Breath Mint Dispensers?

Project Ara was supposed to go into public testing last year, but that didn't happen. Google has been quiet about the state of its modular smartphone since then, but now there's a new demo video. It shows off some weird modules, but what about a release date? Well, there's nothing for regular people, but a developer edition will be available this fall.

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[Update: The Drop Test Part Was A (Dumb) Joke] Project Ara Will No Longer Use Electropermanent Magnets To Connect Modules Because They Don't Pass Drop Tests

Speculation is rampant about the future of Google's incredibly ambitious Project Ara modular phone after news broke a few days ago that the planned 2015 test run in Puerto Rico had been cancelled. Now the Project Ara Twitter accounted has shared a tidbit of news that might offer a partial explanation of the delay. The electropermanent magnets that were supposed to hold the hardware modules in place don't pass drop tests.

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Google Delays Project Ara Until At Least 2016, Still Deciding On Initial Launch Location

The news late last week for Google's modular smartphone initiative was not good. After promising a real world test of Project Ara would take place in 2015, Google finally had to pull back and cancel those plans. A series of tweets today at least provides some clues as to what's next for Ara. There are three tweets which conveniently answer the questions—when, where, and why?

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Project Ara Trailer Makes Us Drool, Highlights Market Pilot Coming To Puerto Rico Later This Year

If you haven't heard, Project Ara is coming. No, I don't mean that in the vague it's being worked on sense. It's actually on its way to Puerto Rico in the form of a market pilot sometime later this year. Google announced the news at the second annual Project Ara Module Developers Conference currently underway.

Google selected Puerto Rico due to the research opportunities the location provides. Mobile users there are as likely to use a feature phone as a smartphone, and they have a varied selection of carriers to choose from, ranging from big US carriers to smaller local options.

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Video Shows Off Working Project Ara Prototype, 'Spiral 2' Model Will Appear At Module Developers Conference In January 2015

Project Ara stirred up plenty of excitement when it was first announced, and it continues to entice people with its promise of a modular and upgradeable phone. We recently learned that users will be able to hot-swap modules (excluding the CPU and screen) while the device is on thanks to a modified version of Android Lollipop.

Now Phonebloks has shared a video of Ara's porgress at NK Labs, a Massachusetts-based contractor doing a great deal of work on the project. In it, we see an updated version of the prototype demoed at Google I/O.

Towards the end of this presentation, we hear that a second prototype, known as Spiral 2, will provide more of the device's space to developers and resources.

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Project Ara Will Run A Modified Version Of Android L That Supports Hot-Swapping All Modules Except For CPU And Screen

Project Ara seems like the sort of thing that could never in a zillion years work, but Google is committed to giving it a shot. After bringing Motorola's ATAP in-house, the company has forged ahead on Project Ara. Now project head Paul Eremenko has offered up a few new details of how Ara will work. Basically, the phone can be taken apart while it's on.

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[Panic?] Project Ara's Chief Designer Has Quit Google To Go Work For Capital One

Well, this isn't great news - the guy responsible for designing Project Ara as part of Google's ATAP team (and previously, at Motorola), which Google picked up as part of the Motorola-Lenovo acquisition, is leaving! Dan Makoski is headed to another company to work on more amazing, innovative, interesting, game-changing products. Just kidding: he's going to work for a bank. Capital One, to be precise. He has this to say about it:

  1. there are few spaces as ripe for technology and human-inspired re-imagination as how people relate to their money,
  2. Capital One has been steadily building a quiet but extraordinary design thinking, strategy and execution culture on top of its already legendary data analytics capability,
  3. and when you stir the above and throw in the spark of vision & leadership:


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[I/O 2014] Google's ATAP Shows Off A Semi-Working Ara Prototype, Plus Prizes And Boards For Aspiring Developers

Project Ara is still going strong, and Google demonstrated it at I/O at the ATAP presentation. Project Ara Technical Lead Paul Eremenko talks up the modular phone platform in the video below (starting at around 23:30), bringing the concept beyond simple phone component upgrades. "What if a phone could see in the dark? What if a phone could test if water is clean?" The collaborative Ara team wants the hardware to be just as flexible as the larger Android ecosystem.

They showed off a working, self-contained Ara "Spiral" prototype phone for the first time, with all the hot-swappable modules installed and a build of Android running.

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