Google plans to let you design your own Project Ara phone with an app

OK, so far we know that Project Ara's Spiral 2 prototype is in good shape, Spiral 3 should be even better, and that devices will hit Puerto Rico before anywhere else. Now we turn our attention to how you'll configure your very own Ara device, a decidedly incomplete process that Google's Jason Chua demoed using an as-yet incomplete Ara Configurator app.

Long story short, each Ara device has three distinct physical layers (the endo, modules and external shells) that can be tweaked and customized to a user's liking. While using the Configurator app, people will (theoretically) be able to sift through the Marketplace for new modules and save really neat ones to their so-called Stashes. From there, they can be laid out onto an existing Ara endoskeleton to see how they all fit together, while developer tools like the Shell Maker API make features like applying photos to your module shells a distinct possibility.

And, if, your font of creativity has run dry, there's Phone Makers. Think of it as a shortcut to a personal, customized device - Chua notes that users might someday be able to connect the Ara Configurator to (unnamed) social networks, where it'll sift through a potential customers likes and content to come up with a phone configuration that's suited for them. Are you the sort who posts plenty of photos? You might get a recommendation for a higher-res rear camera. Shared links about wildlife conservation lately? Maybe you'll get some environmental sensors instead.

Once you've got everything looking just right, all it takes is a quick swipe to view the Specs page, where you'll be able to see just what your personal configuration can do and (more importantly) how much it'll cost you. To absolutely no one's surprise, the entire design process has a sort of MotoMaker flavor to it, which is a very, very good thing -- there was something very special about choosing color trims and storage configurations for the Moto X, and the Ara Configurator is poised to bring that sort of fastidious fun to a completely new level.

[Image: Google ATP]