Google’s modular smartphone project, Ara, has been delayed to 2016. The search giant confirmed the news via Twitter on Monday, acknowledging the project’s tardiness, but also teasing an announcement for a U.S. test launch in the future. You win some, you lose some.
We originally expected the project to arrive in Puerto Rico later this year, but a series of Tweets last week revealed plans had changed. And even then, Google doesn’t share specifics about when the project will be available, only giving a nebulous “2016.” Google says it has some good news to share, so hopefully we learn some new details then.
What makes Project Ara so exciting is how it allows people to mix and match smartphone components at will. Want a better processor? Swap yours out. Want a better camera sensor? Done. The goal is to give owners the ability to swap parts out like one would a computer. This kind of piecemeal approach would give users the opportunity to upgrade their device without getting a new one completely.
We haven’t really seen Project Ara in action, so it’s unclear how such a device will perform over any length of time. A modular smartphone is appealing for a lot of obvious reasons. But if there’s a disconnect between the hardware and software, then swapping out parts might not even matter.
With no launch coming this year, we’ll have to wait until 2016 to get our first real taste of the smartphone future.
— Project Ara (@ProjectAra) August 17, 2015