Google’s modular phone will let you swap modules while it’s still on

The idea of a modular phone has been floating around for years, a phone with hardware that can be customised to suit you. Google’s Project Ara is one such device, and it was recently revealed that the modules can be changed while the phone is still on.

The display and CPU are exceptions to that, since you actually need those functioning while the phone is on, but the rest is fair game. In fact Ara project director Paul Eremenko revealed that you’ll even be able to swap bits around while the phone is running a process — like making a phone call for example.

It has been revealed in the past that batteries could be swapped out without the phone turning off which is impressive enough, but the fact that the physical components can be changed on the go could completely change the dynamic of how we use our phones. Imagine being able to pull out the camera module and replacing it with a microSD readers so that you can use your phone to watch TV, or replacing the Bluetooth module when an upgrade becomes available. Heck to some extent it could negate the need to buy a brand new phone to upgrade.

The whole thing has been made possible thanks to a partnership between Google and non profit company Linaro using a modified version of Android L. There’s no word on when we’ll see Project Ara available for consumers, but there’s a good chance we won’t be seeing it in the next 6-12 months.

Want to read more? If you’re looking to buy a wearable or activity tracker, we’ve found the best wearables to keep you safe, but, if they’re too expensive, here are the best budget wearables and activity trackers for under £70.

If you’re not bothered by wearables at all, but still want help with keeping fit, check out our feature on 10 kitchen gadgets, tools and utensils for healthy living.

Tom Pritchard