Google shutting down Project Ara, sources claim

Google shutting down Project Ara, sources claim

Google shutting down Project Ara, sources claim

Reuters reports that Google has "suspended" Project Ara as the company moves to streamline its hardware.

Project Ara started from the Phonebloks group, was taken over by Motorola Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP), but kept by Google when it sold off Motorola to Lenovo.

If you're not familiar with what Project Ara is, basically this would make smartphones a lot more like PCs, in that you can pick certain parts of your smartphone and buy upgrades of that part.

Now the company is aiming to unify its hardware efforts which are now spread across Chrome laptops and desktops, the Nexus line of Smartphones and other consumer electronics such as the Chromecast and its Google Home Bluetooth speaker. This Project Ara was reported to unify Google's hardware segment which ranges from Chromebook Laptops to Nexus Mobiles. The main challenge of the Project Ara, however, was to bring it to the market; because modular parts were costly to produce and were bulky as well. Google promised to introduce a working Project Ara model this fall and then release a commercial product for consumers in 2017.

Motorola, which Google once owned, offers Moto Z, its own notion of a modular smartphone.

The phone was set to usher in a new era of smartphones, where people could add more memory, an extra camera or even more processing power on the fly. Now, to the dismay of geeks everwhere, Project Ara will probably never see the light of day. At least not through Google, as the original report did suggest that the technology could still make its way through to the market as a result of third-party development and licensing agreements with Google.

Now however, Google's hardware chief Rick Osterloh has decided Chromebooks, Android devices and Google home seem like a much safer bet. Following that report it now looks as though further confirmation of the cancellation of Project Ara has now come through. The company told the Modular Smartphone Forum that it also plans to create designs for wireless charging, NFC and external memory. Google itself will not be going ahead with the project because it will be directing all of its efforts towards its already existing projects.

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