Google launches OnHub Wi-Fi router, delays 'Ara' modular phone tests to 2016

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2015
Google on Tuesday launched preorders for the OnHub, a new 802.11ac Wi-Fi router it hopes will simplify wireless connections and will also act as a hub for smart home appliances. But the company also acknowledged that its Project Ara modular smartphone won't reach the public until at least 2016.




The OnHub -- built in partnership with router maker TP-LINK -- employs an unusual cylindrical design, hiding 13 antennas inside its frame. It also replaces a router's standard set of LEDs with a single ring light that shows one of four colors to indicate device status.

The device supports speeds up to 1.9 gigabits per second, and can operate on 2.4 and 5 gigahertz frequencies. The best channel is selected automatically during setup, and the router's software will continually adjust settings to try to avoid interference. If needed, connected devices can be prioritized to maximize their bandwidth.

Setup and management is handled almost entirely through an app for iOS and Android, Google On. The tool monitors network traffic, performs tests, and will offer suggestions if it detects a problem. It also displays a router's password "with a single tap," according to Google, and makes it easy to share via text or email.

The router has 4 gigabytes of onboard storage and is set to automatically update with new features and security patches. It's also said to be future-proof in terms of standards, being compatible with Weave, 802.15.4, and Bluetooth Smart Ready.

And in an addition that pits it against the Apple TV, OnHub will also control smart home devices that support Bluetooth Smart Ready, Google's Weave, or the 802.15.4 standard. The Apple TV, meanwhile, wirelessly controls HomeKit compatible accessories when a user is away from home.

The OnHub can be preordered for $200, either directly from Google or from other online sources like Amazon. Google said it is working on more OnHub devices with other manufacturers, including one from ASUS that should be announced later this year.

Project Ara




Via the official Project Ara Twitter feed, Google acknolwedged that it has scuttled plans to test the phone in Puerto Rico in 2015. The company is now "looking at a few locations in the U.S." for 2016, although last week it suggested that it's not abandoning Puerto Rico entirely.

The Ara concept would allow smartphone owners to upgrade individual components of their device, rather than having to pay hundreds of dollars to replace everything. Although Google showed off a working prototype at its May Google I/O conference, no commercial products have been announced.

In its most recent tweet, the Ara team explained that the delay is attributable to needing "lots of iterations...more than we thought."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 64

    Given it's Google, I wonder if the OnHub sends data back to Google of what websites you access :-)

  • Reply 2 of 64
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,319member
    pjwilkin wrote: »
    Given it's Google, I wonder if the OnHub sends data back to Google of what websites you access :-)
    No it does not. There's a page with an FAQ that answers that particular question among others.
  • Reply 3 of 64
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    is Ara the new Giggle Driverless-Car?

    should have been out years ago.
  • Reply 4 of 64
    shenshen Posts: 434member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    No it does not. There's a page with an FAQ that answers that particular question among others.



    And I trust Google to tell me the truth in that page because.....?

  • Reply 5 of 64

    Seeing as Google said they would not use Nest information for advertising, only to apply to the FCC for the right to use connected home devices such as Nest for advertising purposes, I somehow imagine that despite them saying they won't use the information from this router, they either secretly or publicly will at some point, albeit well after they have been adopted broadly.  

  • Reply 6 of 64

    From the spec sheet

     

















    Ethernet switch QCA8337 Gigabit sw
    WAN port 1x 10/100/1000 Mbps
    LAN port 1x 10/100/1000 Mbps

    1x LAN port yet it has a Gigabit switch in it

    if the above is correct, then no DMZ and you'll need to add your own switch if you have multiple wired devices

     

    For $200 I'd expect a few more LAN ports

  • Reply 7 of 64
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,319member
    shen wrote: »

    And I trust Google to tell me the truth in that page because.....?
    You wouldn't be buying it anyway going by your post history, right? If you don't trust someone, rational or not, then don't deal with 'em.
  • Reply 8 of 64
    shenshen Posts: 434member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PJWilkin View Post

     

    From the spec sheet

    1x LAN port yet it has a Gigabit switch in it

    if the above is correct, then no DMZ and you'll need to add your own switch if you have multiple wired devices

     

    For $200 I'd expect a few more LAN ports




    And replaceable battery! And a second sim card slot! And 3 memory card slots! and...

  • Reply 9 of 64
    shenshen Posts: 434member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    You wouldn't be buying it anyway going by your post history, right? If you don't trust someone, rational or not, then don't deal with 'em.

     

    No, I won't be buying anything from that snooping company of scum. They already read my work email. They have no honor at all, and should die in a ditch.

  • Reply 10 of 64
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,319member
    pjwilkin wrote: »
    From the spec sheet
    1x LAN port yet it has a Gigabit switch in it
    if the above is correct, then no DMZ and you'll need to add your own switch if you have multiple wired devices

    For $200 I'd expect a few more LAN ports
    https://store.tp-link.us/onhub.html

    Correct tho that it's for users primarily using wireless, not wired devices. I think that's probably most folks here. One wired source is all I'd need, everything else used at home is wireless.
  • Reply 11 of 64
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,319member
    shen wrote: »
    Judging by your post history you will keep sucking them off till they finish with you, rational or not...

    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">No, I won't be buying anything from that snooping company of scum. They already read my work email. They have no honor at all, and should die in a ditch.</span>
    LOL! Had to make sure I saved that one as it's pretty original.
  • Reply 12 of 64
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member

    A Google router? OMG, no. A thousand times no! LOL!

  • Reply 13 of 64
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,321member
    shen wrote: »
    Judging by your post history you will keep sucking them off till they finish with you, rational or not...

    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">No, I won't be buying anything from that snooping company of scum. They already read my work email. They have no honor at all, and should die in a ditch.</span>
    No one is "reading" your email. No one personally cares enough about your email to read it. They'll machine scan it in order to be helpful, or to show you appropriate advertising because that's the deal - free, reliable, integrated, feature rich and spam filtered email with lots of capacity, in exchange for the advertising opportunity. If you don't like it don't use it, that's fine, but the idea that Google has ever been shady or duplicitous about it is balls.
  • Reply 14 of 64
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,319member
    shen wrote: »

    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">No, I won't be buying anything from that snooping company of scum. They already read my work email. They have no honor at all, and should die in a ditch.</span>
    Is your Gmail an enterprise account? I would think so, in which case no they are not "reading your work email", and not using anything in them for targeted ads.
  • Reply 15 of 64
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,321member
    ^ are you talking to yourself? ;)
  • Reply 16 of 64
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    https://store.tp-link.us/onhub.html



    Correct tho that it's for users primarily using wireless, not wired devices. I think that's probably most folks here. One wired source is all I'd need, everything else used at home is wireless.



    I have my router under the TV (as the phone socket is near it), as a result the TV, Satellite box, XBOX One and a PowerLine block are all plugged into it

     

    LAN ports are always of use, and some of the more advanced routers support a DMZ off the router, handy if you want to have a home server, or even have device there you don't want full home lan access to.

     

    I'd have preferred Google to have 4 LAN ports on it, but I already have several cheap Gigabit switches here 

  • Reply 17 of 64
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,319member
    crowley wrote: »
    No one is "reading" your email. No one personally cares enough about your email to read it. They'll machine scan it in order to be helpful, or to show you appropriate advertising .
    Not in government, enterprise or student accounts.
  • Reply 18 of 64

    I trust Google to design a secure and functional router far more than CyberTAN and all of those ODMs you never knew existed.

  • Reply 19 of 64
    customtbcustomtb Posts: 345member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    https://store.tp-link.us/onhub.html

    Correct tho that it's for users primarily using wireless, not wired devices. I think that's probably most folks here. One wired source is all I'd need, everything else used at home is wireless.

    Phone and puters go wireless but I wire off the airport for anything nearby...devices like Roku, Apple TV, etc
  • Reply 20 of 64
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    The <A href="http://on.google.com/hub">OnHub</a> -- built in partnership with router maker TP-LINK -- employs an unusual cylindrical design, hiding 13 antennas inside its frame. It also replaces a router's standard set of LEDs with a single ring light that shows one of four colors to indicate device status.

    1) The design and ring light sounds just like Amazon Echo released earlier this year so it's not that unusual.

    2) This being a Google product is questionable, but excluding that I like the idea. I love my Amazon Echo and wondered if including a wireless router would have been smart move. I'm sure many homes could use it but final conclusion for my setup is I would not have run a coax with a repositioned cable model or Ethernet (WAN) cable into the kitchen where my Echo is placed, and where it seems ideally placed, so I think Amazon made the right choice in not including it in their first model.
    The tool monitors network traffic, performs tests, and will offer suggestions if it detects a problem. It also displays a router's password "with a single tap," according to Google, and makes it easy to share via text or email.

    I use one of the newer tower AirPort Extreme routers but I'm not sure I'll buy another one because Apple has continually removed tools and management options from their router SW. I'm not sure if OneHub is the right product for me but it certainly looks better than the AirPort Extreme for my next router purchase at this point.
    And in an addition that pits it against the Apple TV, OnHub will also control smart home devices that support Bluetooth Smart Ready, Google's Weave, or the 802.15.4 standard. The Apple TV, meanwhile, wirelessly controls HomeKit compatible accessories when a user is away from home.

    1) This gives me hope Apple will have something decent to show this year. I fear they are getting close to losing the HEC.

    2) I'm still trying to find a good use for 802.15.4 that isn't already covered by standard WiFi use in a home. 802.15.4 — actually, an evolved version of it — seems great for autonomous cars to communication with to each other but for the home I've yet to see a good model for it.
    Via the official Project Ara <a href="https://twitter.com/ProjectAra">Twitter feed</a>, Google acknolwedged that it has scuttled plans to test the phone in Puerto Rico in 2015. […] In its most recent tweet, the Ara team <a href="">explained</a> that the delay is attributable to needing "lots of iterations...more than we thought."

    You're telling that a smartphone with all the components being modular and interchangeable by the customers isn't easy?¡ I'll be surprised if this every sees the light of day as originally conceived.

    gatorguy wrote: »
    No it does not. There's a page with an FAQ that answers that particular question among others.

    How is this different than how they said they would not record info from Nest after the purchase just to later change the documentation to allow Google to capture data about your Nest devices? IOW, why can't they change their mind at any time? They've already been in trouble about capturing passwords from WiFI networks in the past.
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