One of the coolest gadgets to be introduced last year was Google Glass, where Google took wearable computing to another level. Google Glass has found its supporters as well as detractors but one thing it has done has raised the curiosity of all as to what exactly these glasses can do and cannot do.
While Google has begun distributing the glasses to a few beta testers and lucky people in the US, the commercial availability as we well as wider distribution might take at least the beginning of next year.
While you may not be able to actually get your hands on Google Glass, if you have an Android phone, you can test out the UI and basic functionality of the glass TODAY.
Yes, you heard that right. Some amazing developers having taken the system dump files of the Glass OS and repackaged the critical parts of the OS as APK files.
Google had released the factory images for Google Glass a couple of weeks back for developers to hack Google glass, but had warned them that rooting, unlocking, or flashing voids the warranty and that they will no longer receive OTA updates.
While the experience on an Android phone is not exactly the same, since you don’t have the required hardware it gives a fair idea of what the UI is and also what is possible with Glass.
Installing Google Glass APKs on Your Android Phone
To experience Google Glass, one would have to head over to the Xenologer Github page and download the APKs and install it on your phone. You can also find out how they built the APKs there.
There are three APKs that one would have to install – the Home, Camera and Maps APKs. Once one finishes downloading and installing the APKs, this would replace the launcher on your phone.
On launching Glass Home, you’ll see the same UI Glass users see. You can also give the “OK, Glass” command to wake the app and start giving voice commands.
One can do various things such as Google for stuff, take a picture, record a video, get directions, send messages, call or hangout with someone.
When we tried it out on our Galaxy Nexus, it was a mixed bag. We were able to Google stuff and take pictures and record videos. But were not able to find or share the pictures and videos taken. Navigation sent us to the map app but did not work. We could not use anything that required contacts since we don’t have a Google Glass account, which is needed to add contacts.
While this is definitely not the complete experience, one does get a feel of Google Glass.
Warning: Before you go ahead and install the APKs, be warned that since these are third-party APKs, one has to be a little cautious and that this may not work on all devices and could cause problems with some of them.
After you done playing around and you want to uninstall it, go to Settings > Apps > Downloaded, on your phone and uninstall all three APKs.