XE10 is rumored to bring native Glass apps. Here’s how to sideload now.

Russell Holly announced today that XE10 (the October update for Glass) is rumored to bring native apps to the Glass platform, but many Glass Explorers already sideload Android apk files onto their Glass in order to test the more robust functionality of the device. While working with Adam Singer on my recent Do we need Chrome on Glass article, he helped me document the process:

  1. Backup an apk from your phone or tablet. In order to do this, you’ll first need to install the Android Debug Bridge which comes as a part of the Android SDK. In this tutorial we will be using the Chrome apk taken from our Android device.
    adb devices -l # get the specific device id
    adb -s root
    adb -s pull /data/app/com.android.chrome-2.apk
  2. Turn on debug mode for glass
    https://developers.google.com/glass/gdk
  3. Install Launchy, it helps a lot but is not required (optional step)
    http://songz.quora.com/Using-Launchy-to-launch-your-Android-app-for-Glass
  4. Install the backed up apk
    adb -s <specific device> install com.android.chrome-2.apk
  5. Use the following command to launch Chrome
    adb -s <specific device> shell am start -a android.intent.action.VIEW -n com.android.chrome/com.google.android.apps.chrome.Main -d http://www.google.com/

google_web_page

By this point, all you can do is scroll and tap (select links in our Chrome example). Mouse support is not directly available as we see in native Glass apps such as the GlassBrowser, but you can pair a Bluetooth keyboard. This requires a few extra steps:

  1. Backup a settings apk from your phone or tablet
    adb -s  pull /system/app/Settings.apk
  2. Install the settings apk
    adb -s  shell install Settings.apk
  3. Use launchy to access the settings view
  4. Enter the bluetooth configurations and pair up a keyboard. This is not always foolproof cause lack of input makes it hard to see the pin number. I seem to just fumble until this step works.

launchy_choose_screen

launchy_screen

settings_screen

search_for_devices_screen

connected_screen

Once you have Launchy and a Bluetooth keyboard your Glass is magically transformed into a computer, rather than a pair of futuristic glasses. You could try loading the Ingress apk and using a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse to interact with the game, or load Google Drive to scroll through your documents while on-the-go… the possibilities are endless, and with XE10 Glass will begin to realize many of our ideas and dreams for the platform.

About Steven Mautone

Steven has worked in Digital Marketing and Web Production for companies such as BBC America, Showtime Networks, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and Esurance. He is passionate about building amazing Web Experiences. As the Developer Community Manager of the Wix App Market, Steven is helping Web developers showcase their Web apps to the greater Wix.com Community. "Developers can build whatever they want, however they want, and Wix will provide a simple JavaScript SDK that connects into the Wix.com Web Site Editor. If you write Web code, you should be sharing your services in the Wix App Market."

View all posts by Steven Mautone
 
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