Google Glass's Android code now available

Google Glass's Android code now available

Summary: Ready to start programming for Google Glass? The tools are out there. While only a handful of Google Glasses are out, Google quietly released its Android-based core kernel code.


Ready to start writing applications for Google Glass? You now can. On April 27, Google quietly released Google Glass's Android-based core kernel code.

Google Glass
The Google Glass's software, as well as the first versions of the hardware, is now available.

The Google Glass release candidate code is available within a Linux tarball, an archived, compressed file format. Like any Linux-based operating system, the Google Glass Android kernel is licensed under the GPLv2.

The software, which is based on Android 4.04, still doesn't have a permanent public home. Google promises that eventually, the code will be kept to "git next to all other android kernel source releases".

Before this, Google had released some technical details on the Google Glass hardware that the new kernel is supporting. The first Google Glass devices come with 16GB-flash onboard storage. There are 4GBs of this reserved for the operating system and drivers, while 12GBs of it can be used by users. This personal storage is, in turn, synced with its users' Google Drive cloud storage. By default, Glass will automatically upload location data, along with video and photos to Google+.

The built-in camera can take photos at 5 megapixels, and video at 720p. The audio uses a bone conduction transducer system instead of earphones. Glass also supports 802.11b/g wi-fi and Bluetooth for networking and detached device support. To save battery, which Google claims can last for up to 24 hours, 802.11n isn't supported yet.

Hackers have also discovered that Glass uses an OMAP 4430 CPU. This is a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor running at either 1 to 1.2GHz. This, in turn, supports 1GB RAM. Approximately 340MBs of this is reserved for the operating system and drivers.

All this, combined with the release of the Google Glass "Mirror" application programming interface (API) developer kit, gives software developers and hackers alike everything they need to start writing programs for Glass, and for that matter, even start working on Google Glass clones. Google Glass is moving at an amazing rapid clip from engineering prototype to soon-to-be common device.

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Topics: Hardware, Android, Google, Linux, Open Source, Software Development

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  • A lawsuit waiting to happen.

    "Take them off or I'll file a lawsuit against you!"

    "He/She tore them right of my face!"

    Get used to hearing these phrases.
    • i think you're overreacting

      you and most people like you were saying all the same things back when we put cameras on smartphones ... "oh there will be perverts snapping my picture in the bathroom" and "some jerk is going to snap my picture on the beach" ...

      yeah... i'm not going to say it never happens, because there are bad people out there. But your whining about google glass is akin to saying guns kill people so we should abolish guns... no, people kill people. there are potentially a lot of beneficial uses for google glass. get over it... the future is now.
      • There is a difference

        Pulling the camera or phone out to film eveything going on is an inconvenience at best.

        Why not try it sometime, just walk around the house or down the street filming with your phone, see how long before you say "this sucks!"
        William Farrel
        • yes there is a difference

          the difference is between filming your house or your street and filming touristy things while on vacation... DUR!!! trolling should not be very hard yet somehow even you seem to screw it up
        • If MS was

          putting this out instead, you'd be suddenly among the biggest cheerleaders.
    • Get Real

      "Officer, I would like to press charges for assault and grand theft (assuming that these things will cost over $500)."

      Get used to hearing that phrase if you're stupid enough to actually do that.
      • BTW: The evidence is on-line

        I mentioned this before, but it's worth mentioning again: I do not think you will get the same experience when interacting with police while wearing GG. I don't think you will be as likely to be a victim of a crime (violent, fraud, you name it), and I think you will have more power over others (you could be recording, you can intimidate, you will appear more knowledgeable, you can detect BS faster/better, etc., etc., etc.,). GG may very well make the like of the haves considerably different from the have-nots. Some for good (think aide workers in Syria, democracy monitors at election polling stations, political activists, etc), some not so good. We'll see, perhaps soon enough.
        Mr. Copro Encephalic to You
  • Meanwhile Glass says to the attacker

    Evidence of your assault and battery (name based on video face recognition) is now on file at the DA awaiting user complaint.
  • Cell Phones are Ancient Compared to this

    Mobile devices will definitely take a major hit in sales once these new glasses start becoming readily available. I wrote more about it on my blog Critical Thought of the Day
    Peter Goncalves
    • Link
      Peter Goncalves

    The Google Glass Forum is open. Please join the discussion at GoogleGlassForum dot net.
  • Is this the Gadget of the Decade?

    Putting forth a developer's perspective - It is too early to say this is the Gadget of the decade like smartphone was in last decade. But YES very exciting for technologists like me to get their hands on the software and explore the possibilities of application or solution development.
    Consumer's perspective - If Glass makes it big, future is clearly for the devices which can be worn up the sleeve and you don't need to carry an extra device everywhere. Consumer can hope for something really invisible and intelligent enough to read your thoughts and is always with you.
  • It's all fine and good.

    Until the invasion of privacy is against you. When you scratch your ass at a conference and it ends up viral. Or someone gets a video of your 17yr old daughters nip slip at the pool and posts it on some board.

    Go ahead tell me how fantastic it all is then.

    That's all that really needs to be said.
  • Will these glasses be successful? I think not, but -

    Personally, I think not. It's a bit of hardware. A phenomenally advanced bit of hardware, but just hardware at the moment.

    It comes down to the applications available for the device. If the glasses can use the existing library of Android applications it might have a chance, but as a stand alone bit of hardware, I see little need for it.

    Then again, my Android phone spends 99% of its time in a holster, waiting for me to check the weather. I have little use for so many of these devices!

    On the other hand, the hardware itself may have impact well past this particular product.

    While the hardware is a fantastic combination of technologies, what applications will drive the consumer need?

    That seems to be the real question.

    Perhaps it'll be the Futurama Eye Phone of the future. When Fry posted Leila's singing butt boil. I hope this thing has more use than that Eye Phone.