Install Android Apps on Google Glass - dummies

Install Android Apps on Google Glass

Glass runs a version of the Android operating system, which is no surprise because both the device and the operating system come from Google. Though the Glass operating system is a bit different from the standard Android OS that you use on smartphones and tablets, because of the different hardware interfaces, you can install existing Android apps on Glass.

If you want to experiment with installing and running non-Glass Android apps on your Glass, here’s what to do:

  1. Download and install the Android Software Development Kit (SDK) on your computer.

    You can download the SDK from the Android Developers website.

  2. In the command-line interface you use on your computer, navigate to the Android SDKadt-bundle-[name]sdktools folder.

    In Windows 8.1, you can right-click the Start icon in the taskbar and then choose Command Prompt (Admin) from the contextual menu.

    The [name] in the adt-bundle-[name] subdirectory depends on the operating system you’re using. In 64-bit Windows, for example, the name of the subdirectory is adb-bundle-windows-x86_64-20130917.

  3. Connect Glass to your computer, using the micro USB cable that came with Glass.

    Your computer recognizes your Glass as a new device and installs the necessary device-driver software.

  4. Turn Glass on, if it isn’t on already.

  5. On the timeline screen, select the Settings card.

  6. On the Settings screen, select the Device Info Settings card.

  7. Open the Device Info menu by tapping the touchpad.

  8. Choose Turn on Debug from the menu.

  9. If you’re not using the GNU operating system, download, install, and open the Wget app for your operating system.

    You can download Wget at the Wget for Windows website. This site also includes instructions for installing and opening Wget.

  10. In the Administrator: Command Prompt window, type the following so that you can download the Google Sky app to see star and planet information on Glass:

  11. Load the app onto Glass by typing the following:

    adb install ~/Downloads/Google Sky Map.apk
  12. Activate the adb shell on Glass to run Sky by typing the following:

    adb shell dumpsys | grep android.intent.action.MAIN | tail -n 2

    When the adb shell loads, you see the following message in the Administrator: Command Prompt window:

    intent={act=android.intent.action.MAIN flg=0×10000000} android.intent.action.MAIN:
  13. Start the Sky app on Glass by typing the following:

    adb shell am start -a android.intent.action.MAIN -n
  14. Turn on the Glass’s display to see the app.


  15. Close the agreement window by swiping down on the touchpad.

Now you can take Glass outside at night and view the Sky app at the same time that you’re watching the real stars in the sky!