Google Glass Source Code Now Available, Runs on Android ICS


Google Glass won’t be available for the general public until 2014; but on the developer and first-adopter front lucky geeks are having a blast wtih Explorer Edition Google Glasses.

So far, here’s what Google told us about Glass: it has a display comparable to a “25 inch high definition screen from eight feet away,” the camera takes 5MP photos and 720p videos, has a Bone Conduction Transducer for audio, connects via Wifi–802.11b/g and Bluetooth, it holds a total of 16GB Flash storage with 12 GB of usable memory, can be synced with Google cloud storage, it comes with a Micro USB cable and charger with the battery lasting a day.

It also has lots of developer and user restrictions which make us wonder if Google Glass is worth waiting for; however developers and customers usually ignore these warnings until it’s too late or they try their best to keep a very low profile as long as possible.

Google also recently released its Mirror API which includes managing timeline cards, interacting with menu items, subscribing to timeline notifications, working with user location, and sharing to contacts.

But developers have more in mind than just the specs and the API–they want to know what actually makes the the Glass tick and how they can use it in their favor.

Kernel source and jailbreaking for Google Glass

Last week, Cydia founder Jay Freeman, tweeted, “#ifihadglass I would jailbreak it and modify the software (obviously). As Google actually sold me one; I did my part. …” which basically meant he had gained root access to Glass, but unfortunately Freeman hasn’t fully explored his Google Glass yet because he wears prescription glasses.

Instead of chastising Freeman of his discovery, Google decided to release the source code, but commented that “This is unlikely to be the permanent home for the kernel source, it should be pushed into git next to all other android kernel source releases relatively soon, at which point, i’ll update this notice.”

Developers can now download the source code which is available under GNU GPL v2 license, in tar.zx format and is around 69 MB in size.

Unlocking and revealing the hardware of Glass

And the most recent breakthrough regarding Google Glass comes from a couple of Glass enthusiasts, Jay Lee and Liam McLoughlin, who discovered that the device uses a dual core OMAP 4430 processor and has been loaded with 682MB of RAM.  Unfortunately, no news yet regarding the exact clock rate of the processor.  The discovery was made when the duo found USB debugging settings of Glass and connected it to ADB.

The two also discovered that the Google Glass runs on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, which is not surprising since the accompanying app, MyGlass, requires for smartphone that runs ICS 4.0.3 or higher.

So what does these discoveries mean?  For one thing, this will aid developers working on apps for Google Glass.  For apps to work smoothly, a developer must know how a device actually works and what makes it tick.  This will make development easier.

[Image credit: Transformed code/poem by Marc-André Cournoyer,]