A few days ahead of Google’s first ever Ara Developers Conference, the company has released the Project Ara Module Developers kit (MDK), which is actually set to held from 15 April to 16th April, 2014. Although, Google has taken one step closer to launching its Project Ara modular smartphone design and the company on Wednesday announced that the first version of its Prject Ara Module Developers Kit is now available for free of cost to developers. Full details after this break!
This is the Google’s first step in a march to launch the final MDK for Google’s modular smartphone design by the end of 2014. As Google says, “the MDK, 0.10, is “a very early version,” but will stll provide developers with some insight into the project and give them the chance to provide feedback based on what they’ve seen to ts point.
Actually, the newly released MDK version 0.10 covers guidelines for developers for designing Project Ara smartphones, helpful in creating valid module dimensions, components and layout for power pads and on and on. In fact, the MDK gives a better understanding of the platform and provides developers with guidelines for creating components for the modular smartphone.
Google’s Project Ara was initially part of Motorola’s product lineup when the search giant owned that company, after then sold out Motorola to Lenovo, Google then required that Project Ara stay in Mountain View and not go with Lenovo anymore.
What is Project Ara Module? This is such technology that allows customers to pick and choose components that they’d plug into their smartphone. Idea is that to provide a more customizable mobile exprience to users, rather than one that’s determined entirely by smartphone makers. Technology that is still in concet phase ad i at least a ways off until it gets into customers hands.
According to the Paul Eremenko, ead, Project Ara said in a Google+ post, “Today we’re announcing the first release of the Project Ara Module Developers Kit (MDK) v0.10. This is a very early version but our goals are to give the developer community an opportunity to provide feedback and input, and to help us ensure that the final MDK – anticipated at the end of 2014 – is elegant, flexible, and complete.”
The post also clarifies that Google reportedly planning to release the final MDK version by the end of 2014. However, the MDK documentation reveals its first glimpse at the thre diferent Ara skeleton sizes – mini, medium and large ( a mainstream unit, and jumbo, a phablet-style model). Google calls it endoskeleton (endo) and modules, where endo is the structural fame that holds all the modules in place, while module can be abything from a new application processor to a new display or keyboard, an extra battery, a pulse oximeter or some other customizable hardware unit.
While the larger skeletons will be able to accommodate more Ara modules than smaller ones, Google will be the heart provider of Ara skeletons for the time being. Google will be the only provider of Ara skeletons as of now and the search engine giant plans that the smaller modules will come from third-party developers.
Project Ara devices will be available in different physical layouts. Users will be able to choose from touchscreen-only setups, as well as options with physical QWERTY keyboard, or even a number pad. In order to ensure uniformity in Ara devices’ basic functions, the MDK features guidelines for the most common modules such as processors, display units, Wi-Fi chips, batteries, etc.
Project Ara’s official site explains, “The Module Developers Kit (MDK) defines the Ara platform for module developers and provides reference implementations for various design features. The Ara platform consists of an on-device packet-switched data network based on the MIPI UniPro protocol stack, a flexible power bus, and an elegant industrial design that mechanically unites the modules with an endoskeleton.”
Google in addition to launching incremental MDK upgrades, will be hosting its first Project Ara Developers Conference next week. The event will be held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. The first Ara phones could hit the shelves as early as the first quarter of next year alongside a dedicated marketplace for additional modules.
Finally, Google is going to target a low entry tag for the Project Ara Module Smartphones.