Get it now or lose out on Google's Project Ara development kit

Deadline to request the Spiral 2 development kit for Google's Project Ara smartphone expires on Feb. 7

A prototype Project Ara handset shown during a developer conference in Mountain View on April 15, 2014. (webcast screenshot)

A prototype Project Ara handset shown during a developer conference in Mountain View on April 15, 2014. (webcast screenshot)

Time's running out for those interested in an early development version of Google's Project Ara do-it-yourself smartphone, with just one day remaining to request the hardware from the company.

The Spiral 2 is an early uncased prototype of Project Ara, Google's customizable smartphone through which features can be added or removed via snap-on hardware blocks. The phone was inspired by Lego, the famous building toy.

The soft deadline to request Spiral 2 from Google is this Saturday, Feb. 7. Google won't ship the hardware to everyone, only to those most likely to make snap-on hardware for Project Ara.

"After that Feb. 7 deadline, if you put in your application after that, these requests will be considered on a rolling basis subject to availability of the hardware," Seth Newburg of NK Labs said last month at the Project Ara DevCon 2, where Spiral 2 was introduced.

Nevertheless, supplies of Spiral 2 will be limited, much like its predecessor, Spiral 1. It'll be smart to get in the order as soon as possible.

The first phones will be available later this year in Puerto Rico as part of a pilot program. The basic Project Ara phone frame may sell for US$50, while the snap-on modules can be bought separately through Google's Project Ara store.

The Spiral 2 is mostly for the development and testing of modules. Google is relying heavily on external hardware developers to make parts like antennas, cameras, sensors, batteries and other blocks. Toshiba has already developed Wi-Fi, display, camera, activity tracking, TransferJet and media bar modules.

Hardware developers have floated ideas of health monitors, storage and security modules. Each module has to be submitted to Google for approval.

The Spiral 2 is smaller than the predecessor board called Spiral 1, and has a design closer to the final circuit board that will appear in the final version of the phone. The electronics are laid out on a single board, a big improvement from Spiral 1, which had components spread over three separate boards. The components are interconnected through a high-speed UniPro bridge.

A version of Linux developed by Linaro developed specially for Project Ara will also ship with Spiral 2. A smartphone display can also be placed on the development board to test applications and modules. The Spiral 2 has an ASIC integrated circuit, which is an improvement from an FPGA on the Spiral 1.

The Spiral 2 doesn't have a conventional CPU, and it needs to be connected to boards with either an Nvidia Tegra 4 chip or a Marvell PXA1928 chip. Users have an option of selecting either board in the process of requesting Spiral 2 from Google. The Marvell board will ship in late February.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags smartphonesGoogleconsumer electronics

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?