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Project Ara: How Google's modular smartphone will change the mobile industry

August 6, 2014 by Omar Sohail

Delivering blazing fast broadband to a whole country and enveloping the entire planet with satellites to transmit Wi-Fi signals are few of the several projects that Google plans to deliver in the foreseeable future. Even though delivering high speed internet to areas with limited or no access to internet will be ‘a dream come true’ for those regions, it is Project Ara that will completely revolutionize the smartphone industry. Some companies might not like the project, others might, but one thing is certain; the consumers will fall in love with it. And why wouldn’t they? Having a modular smartphone in the palm of your hands is something that gadget lovers covet. However, one question still remains, how exactly will this project change the mobile industry?

1. Customization in the palm of your hands

Customization In The Palm Of Your Hands

So far, only operating systems have been allowed to be customized. With hovering widgets, notification wiggles, to live wallpapers, customization is present but it’s very limited. Imagine what would happen if that same form of customization landed to the hardware side of things.

2. Upgrade your smartphone components at will

Upgrade Your Smartphone Components At Will

Similar to a desktop or laptop; when you want to improve the performance of your machine, you are not forced to flush out abounding amounts of cash purchasing a whole new machine altogether. All you have to do is replace the component that you feel is responsible for the performance degradation of your system, head out to the market, purchase a newer, faster component, insert it in your machine and voila! Instant performance boost. The same kind of flexibility is not available in current generation smartphones; at least not right now. If your smartphone is not delivering the kind of performance you’d have hoped for, you will have to dish out tons of money to purchase a brand new one rather than replacing the component that is affecting the performance in the first place.

3. What potential upgrades can be carried out with Project Ara?

What Potential Upgrades Can Be Carried Out With Project Ara

Google’s project Ara will make the entire smartphone ‘modular’. So whatever component you feel needs to be replaced will be done immediately. Are your free international calling apps not giving you the performance you were hoping for or are you not enjoying your internet streaming or browsing speeds? Replace your wireless adapter to one that supports a faster wireless standard and as a result, instant free international call with no buffering or call drops, streaming and browsing speed boost.

Using the replacement principle (similar to the ones we do on our computer systems); we will be able to replace virtually anything. We will be able to upgrade our memory to provide larger amount of RAMs for our devices, and we will be able to incorporate larger battery packs in to modular smartphones. This will give us additional time to carry out tasks that consume a lot of battery life. In addition, not everyone is accustomed to using large screen smartphones. With Project Ara, users will be able to adjust the screen size of their smartphones and pick the dimensions that they find ideal to their everyday use.

Project Ara’s starting price will be $50. That is just the starting price. When consumers start to purchase more add-on components to upgrade their smartphones, the price will obviously start increasing. Nevertheless; having a customizable smartphone and allowing consumers to choose what they want in their smartphones is far better than giving them a product that they cannot purchase due to inflated price or poor performance but are still forced to purchase it since it is the only choice they have. Project Ara will be a smartphone user’s dream come true. 

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