Google releases developer guidelines for Project Ara’s modular parts

Douglas Soltys

April 10, 2014 1:04pm

With each passing bit of information Google releases ahead of its Ara Developers Conference next week, we get more and more excited by the possibilities of a modular smartphone. Yesterday, Google released a Module Developers Kit to provide manufacturers the necessary information to start building the modular parts that will comprise Project Ara’s ecosystem.

Ara MDK v0.10 is obviously in an unfinished state, but has been released ahead of the conference to solicit feedback. For now, the MDK comprises reference guidelines for all possible Ara phone sizes and module arrangements, as well as key specifications for common modules like cameras, and processors. Because Project Ara phones will run Android, little is mentioned about Ara apps, except that they won’t significantly differ from their traditional smartphone counterparts.

Those looking to attend the Ara Developers Conference should hurry, as registration ends today. Those that can’t wait should take a look at the extended Project Ara technology demo given during the LAUNCH conference, which contained additional information on the marketplace Google is hoping to build to help developers sell their modules.

SourceGoogle

  • Collin dubya

    ugh, physical keyboards, it’s 2014, get over it already

    • alphs22

      The whole point of project Ara is to give people the choice of what they want on their phone. Maybe some people still like physical keyboards? None of your concern either way.

    • Mike L

      you’re right
      As somebody who gets bored easily, I actually wouldnt mind switching it up once in a while. I’m always flashing new ROMs, changing my launcher to new ones, trying out different themes
      But throwing on a physical keyboard? Sure, why not?

    • Collin dubya

      I can’t support something that takes a step back like using a physical keyboard. takes up far too much real estate that could be used for a big gorgeous screen with on screen keyboard.

    • WatDah

      You don’t have to support it. No one is asking you to.

    • Bri Bru

      (facepalm)

    • WiZZLa

      ugh, simpletons on MobileSyrup. It’s 2014, why doesn’t Disqus have a filter for them already?

    • Collin dubya

      agreed, simpletons using dated keyboards.

    • WiZZLa

      …or simpletons that don’t understand the purpose of the product and the freedom to choose what best suits them.

    • Stuntman06

      I’ll get over it when I am able to type better and with fewer errors on a touch screen keyboard compared to a physical keyboard. It’s been almost 2 years since I’ve been using touch screen keyboard and I tell you, typing on it is still atrocious compared to typing on a physical keyboard.

    • Collin dubya

      practice makes perfect bro.

    • Evan Salter

      He literally just told you that practice didn’t make perfect…

    • MHzBurglar

      I actually prefer accuracy and tactile feedback to a flat, smudgy surface and autocorrect. The only reason I stopped using a physical keyboard is because they stopped making high-end Android phones that have them.

      Also: Directional keys to accurately adjust cursor placement and select text absolutely trump the stupid on-screen slider arrow that jumps all over the place any day of the week.

    • WatDah

      Welcome to the internet, where hypocrites hates and criticize each other and show their true colors while hiding behind their keyboards in their parent’s basement feeling entitled and nothing ever seems to be good enough.

    • Omineca

      Parents’ basements are so unfairly maligned!

  • Bri Bru

    I’m really excited about this project. This changes everything!

    • Kinng

      I hope it will, but lets be realistic, its the same apps, same android, same OEM.

    • Bri Bru

      The money we spend on mobile devices can be brought down by a lot. There would be so many ways for us to customize our devices too. While all companies try to find ways to be creative, this seems to be the real innovation in the mobile industry and it will be bring us a huge change if it works right.

    • ScooterinAB

      I have to disagree. While this is a very interesting project, it is little more than a technical demo and an interesting idea for gearheads and tinkerers. Something like this is very unlikely to take hold for the mass market, who want a single, one time purchase that they don’t have to kit-bash or deal with ongoing support issues from multiple psudo-compatible components.

      Furthermore, the costs associated with this are likely to be higher that buying any given phone from any given manufacturer. Rather than saving money, customers are likely to spend 20-50% more on comparable hardware just for the illusion of customization. Now factor in device subsidies for contact signing (which make up the vast amount of mobile sales in many markets) that simply won’t exist with this kind of product.

      I’m not saying it can’t happen. I just disagree that it’s going to bring any costs down or do anything meaningful to the market in the eyes of the consumer.

  • JTon

    I’m cautiously optimistic … hoping for the best

  • Haseeb Malik

    When the phonebloks concept was released and put on YouTube, I didn’t think that the concept was going too be a reality for a long time. But hey Google decided too take it further these guys know what they are doing. I’m very excited for this.