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Project Ara will run modified Android L, allows hot-swapping of most components

A few new details related to Ara have come to light, such as the fact it will allow hot-swapping of nearly every component (except stuff like screen and CPU). The OS of choice will be a modified version of Android L.
September 29, 2014
Project Ara crop

It’s been a little while since we last talked about Project Ara, Motorola’s-turned-Google’s ambitious project to create a phone that can be upgraded modularly in a fashion somewhat similar to today’s desktop computer. While our attention might not have been on Ara lately, Google continues to work quietly in the background and is apparently still on track for its early 2015 market launch.

Paul Eremenko recently announced some interesting details about the Project Ara project, including word that the first fully functional prototype will be seen at December’s Ara developer conference. Furthermore, Ara now has quite a few big-name partners such as Rockchip, Foxcoon, Quanta and Toshiba.

As for the OS that will power Project Ara phones? The obvious answer would be Android, but keep in mind that the OS will have to be modified to work with the modular Ara. Eremenko says the modified Android L build for Ara supports hot swapping of components, with the exception of the CPU and display. That means you can upgrade or change out components without even turning off the phone. Eremenko also briefly mentioned that Ara will have its own store front for modules, something that he and his team have touched on in the past.

It’s still unclear whether or not Ara is actually a practical ambition or not, but it’s pretty clear that Google isn’t giving up on the concept just yet. What do you think of Ara? Excited at the prospect of diving into a new and unproven tech, or not interested until the project is at least a few generations in and more refined?