Just when we thought that Google is finally going to be a true blue phone of its own and make it the most innovative idea ever to hit the smartphone world to boot, the rumor mill is bringing some sad news.
Project Ara is Dead. For those that are not aware of the name, Project Ara was the name given to Google’s futuristic modular phone concept that was going to take the concept of personalization to a whole new level.
It was actually first revealed almost two years ago and immediately caught the attention of technology enthusiasts and other early adopters. People were eager to see how Google would solve the various problems of making a truly modular phone and to develop a whole new robust third party ecosystem around it.
Then it disappeared. It seemed for a while after the initial reveal that Project Ara had been relegated to the Google vault as reports of increasing difficulties with the project began to pile up. Just as people had relegated themselves to the fact that Project Ara was just another one of Google’s moonshots that did not pay off, Google brought it back to life.
At Google I/O this year, Project Ara was demonstrated to now have solved many of the problems that were slowing it down and to have even reached the stage of a working prototype. Most exciting was the news that Project Ara would be shipping to consumers in 2017 and that a developer version would be available by the end of this year.
That’s close enough to dream about.
Unfortunately, it looks like Google’s newest hardware boss does not share the same excitement for Project Ara as a lot of people on the internet do.
To be fair, though , Project Ara was always going to have a huge struggle ahead of it to be a commercial success. People want phones that are simple and just work out of the box, which would have been the exact opposite of what Google was trying to achieve with Project Ara.
Google has also had a rough time explaining to its Android partners in the past why it was going to be competing with them in the hardware space when it took over Motorola. Those concerns could have played a part in the decision to axe Project Ara as well.
This decision to put Project Ara to rest seems to be a part of a larger plan to focus on lesser projects. Google has abruptly stopped making the Chromebook Pixel and ‘readjusted’ the aims and scope of Nest.
There are rumors floating around that the Nexus brand too may be on the anvil, with ‘Pixel’ being the name for the next set of Google handsets.
It looks like there will be a Google event in October where the company will shed light on some of its decisions and unveil what path it is going to be taking in the near future. A push towards AI and the Internet of Things is expected to form the focus of the realigned search behemoth.