Project Ara Smartphones to Support Hot-Swapping of Modules

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Project Ara Smartphones to Support Hot-Swapping of Modules
Project Ara chief Paul Eremenko at an event recently revealed that Google's much-anticipated modular phones will run a modified version of Android L to support modular hot swapping.

While speaking at the Linaro Connect event, Eremenko confirmed that a functional prototype Project Ara modular phone will be showcased at the second Ara developer conference in December.

Eremenko also confirmed that the modified version of Android L is being developed in collaboration with Linaro. Interestingly, the new modified Android L version is said to enable hot-swapping of modules (except CPU and display) on the Ara phone, meaning that users can replace other modules even when the device is switched on.

Phonebloks in a blog post notes, "Project Ara will use a modified version of Android L, developed in collaboration with Linaro. Thanks to this version, the modules, except the CPU and the display, will be hot swappable. This means you can change them without turning the phone off."

Eremenko also named some of the Project Ara partners - Foxconn, Quanta, Toshiba, and Rockchip - who have been working in collaboration to help develop the modular phones. Some of the partners developing modules for Project Ara include Laird Technologies and Array labs.

The blog post added, "Many companies, large and small, as Laird Technologies and Array labs are developing modules with innovative features never seen before."

Additionally, Google is said to be planning to sell the modules of its Project Ara phone at a new online store, much like its Play store.

Google at this year's I/O detailed the project's progress and even booted - or at least tried to boot - a Project Ara smartphone in public for the first time.

The Phonebloks blog adds, "The next few months will be crucial for Google and its partners, we expect a lot of news about Project Ara, new modules and new partnerships."

Google is widely expected to introduce the first version of the modular smartphone at a rumoured pricing of $50 in early 2015.

The Mountain View giant in July, continuing its efforts to make the Project Ara handsets a reality for end users, announced 100 Project Ara beta testers and had also started taking requests for developer boards used in the modular phones.

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