What is Project Ara (aka Phonebloks)?

Project Ara Phone parts

Imagine how cool it would be if you could take out and replace each part of your phone. Say, the ability to change a 5MP camera with an 8MP camera? Or a 1GHz processor with a 1.5GHz one? Well, that is exactly what Google is trying to give you with it’s new, Project ARA.

Last year, a video of a prototype cellphone known as “PhoneBloks” went viral on the internet, including all social networking websites. The idea seemed to have failed due to lack of money, but some often say that actually Google bought it off the developer. Now, the same PhoneBloks idea is being produced in the labs of Google! What seemed like a dream is now turning into a reality! How cool is that?!

Project Ara Hands On

Project ARA was introduced in Google I/O 2014. Though still a prototype, Google tried it’s best to give the viewers a fair idea of what they are trying to do and what we should expect. And honestly, they did a fairly good job.

We often talk about customizability when we talk about smartphones. Android has been the choice of more than a million people, mainly because it is more customizable. We cannot doubt that though. Android definitely is the most customizable phone out there. But are just customization in the software or the OS enough? C’mon! The most you will do is probably overclock your cellphone (to overheat it), theme it according to yourself (to reset it back a few months later), give yourself superuser access (without any particular reason) and then do some basic tweaking to increase internal memory, save RAM, etc.

But if you ask us, that is only to compensate for the loss of hardware. If the hardware was powerful enough and customizable enough, people would never need to do all that – or that is what we believe.

Project Ara Phone parts

Google aim’s to break this barrier created by Smartphone brands, and is now creating a device which is truly customizable – from hardware to software. The ability to change the camera, to connect a hardware keyboard, to add features that the phone did not have – all in one device! If successful, the Project ARA can do wonders! PhoneBloks video on the internet received a lot of views and a lot of thumbs-up on Youtube. Not to forget that it was re-shared multiple times on social networking websites! The project had gone viral. People wanted it – and were ready to donate the developer too! But seems like the dev never made it.

Deep inside, we knew it could not be possible unless a big-name company takes up the project. Why? I don’t believe that a no-name guy can fund something as big as this! Maybe he can, but the chances were less. When we saw Google’s Project ARA, our first reaction was: “PHONEBLOKS!”. And well, we knew that now the possibility of a phone like that has been increased by a certain number of points.

During the developer conference, the device almost worked, but then the screen froze. Bummer! But wait, during an interview with Paul Ermenko of Project ARA, it was found that the device seems to work about 75% currently. During the rehearsals, the device worked 3 times in a row. But during the conference, it seemed to have changed it’s mind. It froze and did not boot. Paul said that it was bound to happen. The device is not completely perfect (as of yet). So the device still has a long way to go!

Phonebloks Seperate Parts

We don’t know when the device will be released or when the first ARA phone will be announced. But what we know is that there will be a phone like this, considering how hard the devs at Google are working. It would be nice to have such a phone, and this might just be the best work by Google yet – which will of course, give Google a significant boost in the number of Android users in the world. Also, Google gives 100 Beta Testers a Project Ara prototype device. Jealous of them! >.<

So what are your views on Project ARA? Share what you think about this Project. Will it be successful? Or will it possibly be a fail? Drop a comment and let us know!

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