Want the Glass SDK to start building apps? Try using Android for now, says Google

Summary:Experienced Android developers keen to build native Glassware can test their ideas with the Android SDK, according to Google.

The software development kit (SDK) that lets developers build native apps for Google's networked Glass specs isn't ready yet, but that shouldn't stop developers testing their ideas.

Google announced at its I/O conference earlier this year a forthcoming Glass Development Kit (GDK) that will help devs build apps in the APK file format required for Glassware. Apps built with the GDK differ to those built using Google's already-available Mirror API, which allows developers to build Glassware that doesn't need to run code on Glass to function. 

According to Google, the GDK isn't quite ready for release, but since Glass is built on Android 4.0.4, developers can still test some of their ideas for native apps on Glass using the Android SDK.

The Android SDK offers API access to Glass' low-level hardware, such as the accelerometer, features to render OpenGL graphics, stock Android UI widgets and more. 

"Although you won't have all the tools necessary to design the perfect experience for Glass, developing with the Android SDK (API Level 15) lets you try out ideas while you wait for the GDK," Google said on its developers relations account on Google+.

Google has also provided sample APKs, including a stopwatch, level and compass, which are available on GitHub.

After Google launches the GDK it will use the samples to show how to migrate the traditional Android apps to full Glass apps.

Topics: Hardware, Google, Mobility, Developer


Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, s... Full Bio

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