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This is Google’s latest Project Ara prototype

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Google’s Project Ara modular smartphone project is arriving soon, at least if you’re in Puerto Rico. At its Project Ara Module Developers Conference today, Google said that it plans to launch a pilot in Puerto Rico in the second half of this year, selling phone chassis and modules through local carrier partners, as well as through a fleet of small trucks.

Google today said there’s still lots of work to be done before you find it at stores in the US and elsewhere. The multi-phase project is currently in phase 2, or what Google calls “Spiral 2.” It’s gone from something that can connect only to Wi-Fi to one that supports 3G wireless, with Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group saying that it’s working on carrier deals to help get this on store shelves at some point. Still ahead are things like adding support for 4G LTE, as well as a way for developers to make and sell modules that will work with these devices. Google also still needs to figure out how much all this will cost, and whether consumers will grok the idea of buying a bunch of tiny parts that can dramatically change the way their phone operates.

This is our most comprehensive, up close look at Ara so far. Here’s where Google’s at right now.

Photos from Google ATAP.

Project Ara Spiral 2 GIF


Verge Video Archives: Project Ara - Building the Modular Smartphone