Quick Tip: (Un)Installing Apps on Google Glass

Installing new apps (or removing) them from Google Glass doesn’t require you to use the ADT IDE. You can use a few simple command lines via ADB (Android Debug Bridge) to install/uninstall APKs.

Here’s the simple steps:

  1. Plug in your device. Ensure Debug mode is turned on. Install the USB Drivers for the device. See this post if you need help installing USB Drivers for Glass.
  2. Open a command prompt. CD into / Browse to where you installed the ADB tool kit. Its in [ADT Install Dir]/sdk/platform-tools/
  3. Place the APK you wish to install into the same directory as the ADB.exe.
  4. To install any APK, just type: ‘adb install [APK Filename.apk]‘. You should see some status messages and finally ‘Success’.
  5. Once the APK is installed, you can check the package status by using: ‘adb shell pm list packages‘. You should see a listing of all installed packages, listed by Java package. Look for your package. For example, if your project was written in the ‘com.test’ you should see it in the list.
  6. To uninstall any APK, type adb uninstall [package name]. Example: ‘adb uninstall com.test’.

A note:

  • You can’t install a package on top of one that already exists. So to update a package on Glass, you want to uninstall and then install. There’s no ‘reinstall’ or ‘update’ if you are using this command line method.

That’s it!


Google Glass: Development & GDK!

Learning the Glass Development Kit was one of my immediate goals after getting Glass. So, just like learning any new Platform, I built a  “HelloWorld” LiveCard application 🙂

The GDK itself is not finalized and is still in preview stages. Google has some decent samples here.  Turns out, getting your development environment ready is a little tricky. The Quick Start Guide is a great place to start, but I’ll summarize the entire process here:

  1. Download the ADT Bundle. This contains the SDK Manager and Eclipse based Android Development Tools (ADT) IDE.
  2. Unzip the bundle. Run the SDK Manager and install the supported Glass Android version (currently, 4.4.2). Make sure you include the SDK Platform and Glass Development Preview Kit.sdk-manager
  3. You will need to install the newest Android SDK Build-tool (currently 19.0.1). I accidentally installed 19.0 and ended up with runtime issues.
  4. Finally, install the Google USB Driver. This allows the ADT to communicate with Glass. When installed, it will be located in <your install folder>/sdk/extras/google/usb_driver/.usb driver
  5. Next, you need to prepare Glass itself to accept custom built software. Go into the “Settings” live card, then scroll until you see “Device Info”. Tap once, choose “Debug” and enable it.
  6. Unfortunately, the provided USB Driver is not compatible with Glass. You’ll have to modify the “android_winusb.inf” file to include Glass entries before Windows will accept the driver. Add the following to the [Google. NTx86] and [Google. NTamd64] sections:
    ;Google Glass
    %SingleAdbInterface% = USB_Install, USB\VID_18D1&amp;amp;PID_4E11&amp;amp;REV_0216&amp;amp;MI_01
    %CompositeAdbInterface% = USB_Install, USB\VID_18D1&amp;amp;PID_4E11&amp;amp;MI_01

    Note: The actual VID , PID, REV, and MI values must match what your actual hardware device ID says. You can get your specific values by plugging Glass into your USB port. Open up your Device Manager, browse to the Glass device that has a missing driver (marked with !). Right click, goto Properties –> Details Tab –> Hardware IDs dropdown.
    adb device

  7. Install the USB Driver to Windows.  Open up your Device Manager, browse to the Glass device. Right click and choose Update Driver. Browse to the above folder (Step 4) and proceed with the install.
  8. With Glass plugged in, go back to <your install directory>/eclipse and start Eclipse. Switch to the DDMS perspective (Window –> Open Perspective –> DDMS).
  9. You should see Glass in the Devices tab.
  10. Now you’re all set!

Apple iPad2

So I bought the iPad2 on release day … I picked up a Black 32 GB WiFi model. I walked into the Reston Target and there was pretty much no line. The Reston Apple store had something like 300 people there!

iPad 2

I didn’t buy the iPad 1 so I don’t have any comparisons to make 🙂

I’ve been using the newest model for about a month now and here are some thoughts:

  • Usage: Its primarily a media consumption device. Reading the news, watching movies, looking at photos are all superb on this device. Some of the best Apps are Netflix, USA Today, and Weather.com
  • Weight/form factor: Its very comfortable to hold and use on a daily basis. I find it the most useful on the bed or sofa. Its still a little too heavy to hold for more than 25-30 minutes without some kind of support for your arms.
  • Screen: Viewing angle is incredibly good.  There is almost no situation where this has been an issue. Brightness is awesome.  However, It still suffers the same issues as the iPhone 4 does in bright sunlight.
  • Battery: They say ~10 hours and they mean it. I recharge every 3-4 days and easily get 10+ hours regardless of what I’m doing on it. Pretty impressive. Full charge time takes about 4 hours.
  • Unexpected things: Two really cool Applications are WebEx and Join Me. These allow you to attend virtual meetings directly on the iPad. Really awesome for those in Consulting and IT!
  • Value: $500 ($630 for my model) is no cheap investment. Especially when you can’t replace a laptop for most people.  Nobody needs this device. But if you want a tablet – this is the best thing there is on the market. Andriod tablets don’t come close. Not in battery, performance, or applications.

iPad 2

New SLR: Pentax K-X!

My old SLR (Pentax IST-DL) died a few months ago and I finally bought a new one. I did alot of research and came down to three cameras:

I wanted something affordable and preferably compatible with my Sigma 70-300 lens I already owned. I decided on the Pentax K-x because of good reviews, good price, and most importantly its amazing ISO performance. Whatever the Pentax engineers did is amazing because short of going full frame pro  SLR, there is no camera on the market that can beat the K-x’s ISO.  I got a White one …

I took a few sample shots to see how it performs under low light, fast exposures, and macro settings.  They seem to be pretty good for this little SLR.