However the project has naturally evolved a lot since then, and Google has announced that one of the major changes they have made is by removing the ability to swap out core components like the processor. Naturally this process would make the phone a lot harder to build, which is why it is understandable, but Phonebloks’s creator Dave Hakken isn’t very happy about it.
In a blog post, Hakken basically criticizes the changes Google has made, which kind of defeated the point of a modular phone to begin with, which was to cut down on the need to keep upgrading entire handsets instead of just components. “It means your phone still gets obsolete after a while. What if your screen breaks? Well you still need to replace the entire phone. And after a couple of years it gets slow and you need to replace your entire skeleton.”
He is also wary of the fact that despite Google’s insistence that Project Ara is built on open standards, at the end of the day and just like Android, it falls under Google’s umbrella which means that they make the rules and that a slight change to the choice of connectors means all other modules would be obsolete (like Apple changing from the 30-pin connector to Lightning).
At the end of the day while Hakken isn’t completely thrilled with the direction of Project Ara, he acknowledges that as far as modular phones are concerned, Google is still putting in the most effort, but he thinks they could do much better.