Watch Google’s Project Ara developer conference live stream right here at 11am Eastern


Google has a developers’ conference going on this morning, in case you didn’t know. It’s a long shot from Google I/O, but this one focuses on Project Ara, the company’s modular phone project that would let users choose their own specs by fitting a frame with LEGO-like blocks.

This is the second Project Ara developers’ conference ever, and we’re expecting a couple of different things:

  • Google is going to talk about MDK — Ara’s development kit — version 0.2, and everything it enables
  • Google is going to help module developers get up to speed on everything they need to start creating modules

That’s what we know for sure. What we’re hoping? Google surprises us with availability information (the earliest reported window was January 2015, but that could have easily changed behind the scenes). Regardless of what happens, though, it’ll all be interesting, and you can follow along with us thanks to this handy live stream. Can’t watch live? We’ll do our part to bring any breaking news right to the front page.

Project Ara Spiral 1

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. finally! I cant wait!

  2. i love the idea… my only worry is about the pieces flying everywhere if you drop your phone. i have dropped phones and had the battery and back plate fly off. think about this thing and 8-12 pieces fly off.

    case the bad mofo up when you get it lol

    1. can you imagine how big a case will have to be? if the final product is the one shown above, its going to be a big bulky

      1. can you imagine how pissed off you’d be when a piece flies off under the chair into that void of the unknown never to be seen again!… i am not a clumsy person just like to be proactive and prepared. so it’s either gotta have a case or those pieces snap in UBER securely.

        1. OMG haha yes. I think my wife would judge me when I would ask her if she has seen my memory. haha

          1. imagine stepping on it barefoot… the comparison to legos would really make since. i’d rather get punched in the chest than step on a lego barefoot.

      2. This is just my opinion, but why would you put a case on a module phone? In fact, why do people feel the need to put a case on any phone. I mean, so much detail goes into the design of these phones and most phones are just gorgeous stock. Much engineering goes into making these devices as thin and light as they are. I will never understand why people have to ruin the devices by putting a ugly, bulky case on any of them.

    2. You can prevent that with some duct tape.

      1. Wrap a condom around it?

  3. That was weird….says 11, but the countdown had the start time pegged for 10:30. Still says starting soon…..still excited!

    1. STARTING!!! Great music. I’m tapping my feet. ;)

  4. Such a sweet “concept”.

    BUT not sure anyone would buy lesser level of modules to plug in? I know in my case, I would only plug in the top o the line pieces. 800 or 810 I am doing the 810. 1gb RAM or 4gb I am doing 4. 5mp camera or 15, I am doing 15. And so on. Who is going to buy into this concept and yet plug in the lowest end offerings?

    1. India =) Nokia has very low specs and so does the Moto G but they both sell like hotcakes over there cause of the price (not specs)

      1. BUT I think this thing would already have a base price higher than most budget phones. So, that alone pushes a lof of people out. So, will those people that actually still buy in buy the low end modules? I doubt it. The person into this will be the more top tier techy junkie. I doubt they will get the market that they would shoot for: the lower end user that wants to upgrade modules along the way. I think those people will have low interest in techy stuff like this. They will just buy a fully built integrated phone right off – like the ones you note. So, that leaves the techy junkie – like me – and I can see just going straight to the top on all possible modules.

        1. oh…yeah I see what you’re saying. What if one month, you could afford to buy it, but only the lower specs?? Then lets say, tax returns hit and you can finally start upgrading your phone to better specs?? At first, its most likely going to be priced high. But if it happens to catch on (which will be difficult), then all it will do is drive prices down for memory, batteries or better cameras. And it would open the idea of start up companies that can actually make the additions for your phone instead of how it is now after buying an already built phone with a Sony lens in it.

          1. I see your product evolution point, but my point takes place before yours can unfold. My point implies those people will never buy in. They are not likely going to buy into a phone that will arguably already be $$$ more than a complete phone they can get along with right then and there. So, who does that leave? That leaves people like us that are techy that buy into stuff like this. In the end, the Ara users will be high end users going straight to the top in modules every time. Thus, few low end modules as who wants to buy into a concept like this and buy low end modules right off the bat? Not me, and not the “budget” user as they will just look at this as a PITA to try to manage whereas we look at is as a cool concept to try to work with as we have a little more income to play with.

          2. I hear ya….but its gotta start somewhere. Phones back in the day were VERY expensive. Just like TV’s. But flood the market with enough of one thing, then businesses are forced to lower prices (and manufacturing costs) in order to draw in business. Look at google glass….I’m not going to go buy a pair of $1500 dollar pair of nerdy looking glasses, YET. But once the price drops and they start looking better, then I will be part of that market. This is the same as it is with anything….I get your worries but I love the idea and hope they execute it well enough to be competitive in the future. Even if we are on flying cars by the time that happens haha.

          3. I love the idea as well. Love it. I am willing to jump in BUT I think it will be to complicated and costly and frustrating – the moment you find YOUR newest module does not play nice with the 4 already installed – and so it will push all but the highest end user out.

            Phones are established. We know what they cost, we know what they can do, we know where we can get them, they are a known entity. Thus, most won’t want to “play” with their phone & modules like this as it will simply be too much effort and risk – even the guy talking now mentions the risk of this platform playing nice together.

          4. well thats a good point but I think their point is to create something different and make it so everything works together, no matter what modules you buy. Its going to be a hard job to accomplish, but Google has not chased this for this long for no reason. I think they seen profit in it and a market in it. We shall see :)

          5. Once 3rd party companies start to develop modules their ability to “make it so everything works together” flies out the window. They are then no longer in control of the modules, even if they give build specs and requirements.

            His “paradox of choice” comment really captures what I was trying to say about the end user issue I see: the idea of choice seems awesome to many BUT when given choices, those many get confused and end up just bailing out all together as choices can be confusing and scary.

            I do agree they have not chased this for no reason. There IS something there. But it will be hella interesting to see how this shakes out. They didn’t chase Google Glass for nothing BUT I don’t think that has panned out as expected as it is just… kind…. of …. slowed…. down. So they are not always 100% right on. But I would 100% take a modular phone over GG any day of the week.

          6. haha totally agree with your first remark. I just think it would be cool if Google does the software BUT you can buy the hardware anywhere. I look at it like the Google Play store….apps/games are designed around KitKat, Jelly Bean or LP and once the OS is updated, those apps needs to be updated. I think this can be the same way.

    2. I would, I don’t need a high end phone for the stuff that I do. I would make a big phone (5,5 6inch) with descent specs and a big ass battery.

    3. Makes sense if you have the cash to cover top line parts- but this is about making a universal mobile device accessible to all income levels (especially those in developing nations). It’s basically rolling the Android philosophy from software to hardware.

    4. I know people who couldn’t give 2 squats about their camera, and people that if i told them the 800 was good enough for their needs they’d pick an 800 over an 810 if it meant saving a few bucks

  5. I wish I understood the technical IT aspects of the keynote :) Nonetheless, she is a great speaker :)

    1. She is talking tech nonsense & jargon.. the stuff no one really understands unless they are a tech junkie type. So, in the end, IMHO, she is already talking over the heads of those that I think they think will use a phone like this.

      1. haha cheers buddy :) glad I am not the only one!

        1. This nonsense chatter.. that is just part of the gig at announcements like this. Try sitting in on meetings where people like this talk endlessly. In the end, they really say very little, but they got all of the key phrases and jargon out there.

      2. Exactly.

        They should have saved all of that for a Developer’s Conference.

    2. haha yeah its so much non sense wrapped up with actual need-to-hear stuff about the project

  6. that guy who just asked the first question looks like an Amish hitman

  7. Isn’t Unipro/Greybus just plug and play?

  8. WTF!!! do they have a working phone or not!!!! They come to announce their working on a phone? REALLY!

  9. Sorry but this won’t catch on with the mainstream folk who prefer to buy laptops and tablets over building their own PC.

    1. The phone market is massive, it doesn’t need to be mainstream to be profitable or have its place. I could see it in workplace, especially industry where electronic control systems are used. It could also essentially be a mobile Raspberry Pi with IO ports. As a maker hobbiest, I’m really looking forward to Ara.

      A tablet version would be interesting too, might have broader appeal.

      1. Exactly!! Computer components are still being sold even though people buy laptops and desktops already made. This phone is perfect for me!! I’ll finally be able to get what I want. Heck, I feel like everyone on this website would be wiling to do this.

    2. I’ve built every PC I’ve ever owned. I’m still hip and mainstream though.. I also listen to The XX and watch Broad City… Oh, wait…. Damn. Seriously though, the idea of building my own phone is kinda cool. Truly your phone, your way.

  10. Now instead of having you whole phone stolen, they will just steal your memory and GPU XD

  11. “This video is private”

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