Project Ara has now been through its second straight without a solid release date. It was first debuted back in 2013 and his been showcased a few times since. Last year at Google I/O 2014, they brought a Project Ara model on stage, but it froze on its boot-up. This time, Google touted a fully functional Project Ara device.
The showcase showed the power and capabilities of a modular device such as swapping components on the fly. The demo was put on by Google engineer Rafa Camargo and he showcased exactly how the device is put together and how easy it is to pick and choose your own components. The frame, which is dubbed the “endo” has pre-made slots for the components to slide into the frame.
This time, the device was fabricated in front of the crowd by adding modules such as the processor and battery. The phone booted up promptly and was running the latest version of Android Lollipop. On top of it all, Rafa showed the capabilities of Project Ara by opening the camera app without the module being installed. It was immediately recognized once he slid the module in place, which is quite fascinating.
Ara is expected to be test driven in Puerto Rico sometime this year, but the exact date is unknown. The latest rumors have the first modular smartphone launching around August, as it might coincide with the launch of Android M. The device will also start around $50.