Google’s got a working Project Ara prototype


The final reveal might be a long way off, but Google’s taken another step closer to launching its Lego-like modular smartphone.

At its I/O conference in San Francisco the tech titan gave attendees an early sneak peek at a working prototype of Project Ara, showing off progress in its development over the past few months, following on from its announcement in February.

Project Ara head Paul Eremenko whipped out the prototype during a breakout session at the I/O, and flashed the Android bootup screen. Attendees were understandably ecstatic.

One step a time

Sadly, the phone didn’t manage to fully boot up, and it crashed repeatedly despite Google’s best efforts. A disappointment yes, but not a surprise, given how early we are in its development stage.

Eremenko claimed that the prototype had only recently been removed from being “tethered to a laboratory bench” to test its features.

He went on to add that although Google’s made some progress on the unit, there’s still much more that needs to be done – including settling on a final consumer design.

New Deal Design’s helping Google handle the aesthetics, and Eremenko expressed the interest for the phone to be smooth, sleek, and of course, include modularity.

“[However], it must overcome the connotations of boxiness and brick-like that people associate with modularity,” he mentioned.

We’ll bring you more Project Ara updates as and when we get them, so stay tuned.


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