Google boots up Ara for the first time in public, freezes in the process

by: Andrew GrushJune 26, 2014

While Project Tango is already in the hands on developers in fully working form and will target everyday consumers in early 2015, Project Ara remains an extremely ambitious project that is still in the rather early stages. Of course, that doesn’t mean the Google ATAP team hasn’t made any progress.

During an ATAP session at I/O, Paul Eremenko talked a bit about Project Ara and the challenges that lie ahead, particularly touching on how Android will need to change to support how-swapping and will need a better class of drivers for Ara. Even more exciting, Eremenko booted Ara up — sort of.

While the device did get to the boot screen it ended up freezing 30 seconds in. Had things worked without a hitch it would have taken a full minute, which is much longer than your average phone, but still pretty solid progress considering.

There’s still a long ways until Ara is completely ready, but ATAP still remains devoted to the idea. In order to help push things forward, the Google team is offering an $100,000 bounty to any team that can make a working Ara module that can do something “current smartphones can’t do”. Quite a challenge, but again, that’s the main draw to Ara: it can be anything you want it to be.

What do you think, still excited for the future of Project Ara or do you think it’s more of a pipe-dream than anything?

  • Jayfeather787

    That’s sad for them. I know the feeling. It works every time until you show it to some one. Poor Ara. However, it is still in testing and unstable, and this was expected. Great job so far guys! Keep up the great work!

  • Jack Parker

    Why does no one have a video of it yet

  • MasterMuffin

    What is that thing called that gives an electric shock that people use to protect themselves with? Anyways I wonder if a module like that could be possible. Definitely not something you’ll find in a normal phone :)

    • Anthonydotcom

      Set phones to stun!

    • Mur


      • MasterMuffin

        Yea that >_< :)

    • Mike Reid

      Umm, so,… anti-theft, or just a practical joke for friends and enemies ?

      Don’t tase me Goog…

      • MasterMuffin

        Why not both?

    • madmills92

      Even better , a self destruct module , one powerfull enough to make a theif think twice about stealing again

      • MasterMuffin

        The thief could just remove it. Or maybe it explodes if removed! “Oops wrong module” *BOOM* :D

  • Akshat Mittal

    Why don’t you guys have a video?

  • cnet fake one

    why do i have a feeling donald bell is gonna make a top 5 bot to but proj ara?

  • Dark_Laser

    Well, the same thing happens to Windows computers, and it’s still the most successful desktop platform, so this doesn’t affect my high hopes for this project in the least!

  • p3ngwin

    “…support how-swapping….”

    did yo mean “Hot-Swapping..” ?

  • renz

    Right now I’m more interested to know hardware partner that will take part in this project. The very reason they created this device is so we can build our own phone like we did our PC. And some of us most likely want to use stuff from big names company such as Samsung exynoss or Qualcomm snapdragon soc. Any word in regards of this stuff?

    • Skander

      Still too early.

  • jrop

    It’s the schrodinger’s cat principle….add an observer and the demo dies!