We always kind-of expect Glass to be Android based, but I was surprised to find just how Android based it was when I did a teardown of a Glass system dump. "Android based" is selling things a little short, Glass is Android, with just a few APKs piled on top. It reminds me a lot of Facebook home.
So, while I am still plugging away at my full review, I decided to take a bit of a break and see what happens when you try and run real Android apps on Glass.
It's actually pretty easy. Hook Glass up to a computer, enable debugging, fire up ADB, and a few commands later, you're out of the Glass OS sandbox and dropped into a real Android UI. There's a navigation bar, working buttons, and, well, everything. Install something like Nova Launcher and you'll even have a home screen.
Even cooler, this UI is almost, sort-of navigable with Glass's touchpad. Any app that works with a d-pad should work with Glass. Here's a video of me playing around with Nova, Chrome, and yes, Ingress.
Pointless? Kind of. But it's really fun!
The official way to develop for Glass, the Mirror API, is pretty limited, but native apps give you full control over the hardware with many more possibilities. The only downside is that you'll need an external battery pack if you expect to seriously use this for something.
That's it for now; if I come up with any other neat projects I'll be sure to tell you about them. For now though, back to writing!