So, to rectify this great injustice of the Internet (and because people keep asking me, personally) we've decided to hit you up with the Glass system dump. The Explorer program seems to be all about hacking and experimentation, so hopefully Google adopts an open policy towards posting Glass code.
We are gearing up for I/O here at AP, and with the release of the I/O Sessions schedule, we've got an even clearer idea of what Google has in store for us.
Google I/O is a traditionally developer-oriented conference, but it's also always been a huge source of news about upcoming products. I/O is the one time of year when Googlers are allowed to show off their projects, so there's lots of news out there; you've just got to pay attention.
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.
When we talk about Google Glass, we have a lot to be hopeful for and a lot to be worried about. Some of those worries might be a little less than rational. Like the fear that you'll potentially be monitored all the time, which is totally different from how it is now. So, for all the Glass skeptics out there, allow me to do you a favor and replace some less rational fears with some that are more reasonable: if Google Glass becomes popular, everyone is going to start looking at cat pictures on their glasses, no one will watch where they're going, and society will collectively walk into poles, open sewer holes, and each other.
Despite not (yet) having Google Glass, I've managed to get a hold of a system dump, so it's time to have some fun for the day and see if Glass has any (more) hidden goodies for us. It'll also be fun to see just what makes Glass tick, and how the OS is laid out.
APK Teardown is usually at its best when I have a previous version to diff against and, you know, when I've actually used or at least seen the software in question.
Several days ago, something happened that sent a not insignificant ripple through coverage of Google Glass: someone "jailbroke" the device.
Saurik, who posted the above photo to Twitter, had modified Glass' software "while in the Bay Area after picking it up from Google's headquarters in Mountain View."
Understandably, this idea was a bit bedeviling to the press – ostensibly, Glass is a relatively limited platform for developers, who can only write apps using a web-based API, allowing software to be integrated with the device over the internet.
Google's official Glass YouTube channel released its first video today – a minute long introduction to Glass' most basic controls. The video is titled Glass How-to: Getting Started, which leads this writer to believe there may be more How-to's in the works.
Impressively well-produced and perfectly simple, the video discusses Glass' gestures – tapping, swiping forward, backward, and down, and gives a very digestible explanation of the device's time-based card interface.
While the Explorer Editions of Google Glass are making their way out to the lucky early adopters (with extra cash), the rest of the world is wondering when it can get its eyeballs on the product. According Eric Schmidt speaking to Radio 4, the answer is roughly a year from now.
He also believes that the technology behind Google Glass goes beyond just this one product:
A lot of people are excited for Google Glass right now. The first Explorer units began rolling into the happy embrace of those selected for the exclusive pilot program just last week, and we've already seen a ton of feedback. Combined with decent pre-release coverage, it's clear that Glass has the potential to shake things up once more people have it in their hands. Of course press coverage and user excitement only form part of the story.