So I’ve gotten a little carried away with the Glass-Android thing. My posts are as disorganized as my thoughts, so I thought I’d organize my posts a bit. Here is the set of posts for Android & Glass Development as of Feb 15th, 2014:
The first 2 parts are more of a Curious George couple of articles telling people what to expect from Glass. Everyone asks me what they are. I end up telling people “its just a pair of sunglasses” or “its a computer” and of course they are speechless and I walk away quickly before a long discussion ensues.
The next 2 parts are for developing web service apps for Glass. Glass can work with web based apps which run on a server and interact with Glass |OR| Glass can have native apps installed into it which it can run on.
The last 4 parts starting with First Android App and finishing with First Google Glass App, is a set of posts for learning how to create native apps for Glass.
This is version 0.4.2 but there is a new build, 0.4.3 (Canary) to date of this publication.
Its ok if you choose Eclipse, the differences are minimal in general usage terms.
Android SDK 15 & GDK
If you’re used to iOS, where the IDE (Xcode) already includes the SDK, you’re in for a treat. In this case its necessary to manually get the SDKs; both API 15 as well as GDK. To do this you use the Tools menu & select AVD Manager:
Now you must pick the right SDKs. I recommend getting these options:
To install you must then click on Install Packages and individually Accept each license. This will take a while for the SDKs to download.
Now you’re ready to start programming, sorta. You need the Android Debug Bridge, ADB. This allows us to connect to Android/Glass devices and debug directly on them. Again, if you’re coming in from an iOS environment you test on the iPhone Simulator and thats good enough to get started. However, on Android, BELIEVE me, you DO NOT want to test on the emulator. Both Eclipse and AS bring the AVD Manager, Android Virtual Device Manager which creates emulators in many configurations. Just launching these can sometimes waste up to 15 minutes of your precious time. This means that in a day of coding you can literally waste HOURS just waiting for the emulator to fire up.
Besides, as we mentioned, you can’t test Glass apps on anything but Glass devices. So this is necessary.
Fortunately if you installed Android Studio, adb is already in Android Studio.app/sdk/platform-tools. If you’re on a mac you will need to add this path as an environment variable. You might even need to create a symbolic link. This is due to the fact that Android Studio is contained in one of these peculiar .app folders. As you will see later, its hard to configure some neat development tools if you have files you need to get at, stored inside one of these .app packages. You can inspect the application package in Finder:
In order to add an environment variable we first need to edit our ~/.bash_profile from terminal by doing this:
this is assuming you installed Android Studio inside your Applications folder.
Now dab is accesible from any terminal. So test it by opening a terminal and doing this:
this should start the adb daemon and list all devices plugged into your USB ports which are in Debug Mode.
Finally, a cool dev tool is an app called Droid@Screen which can be used to display your Glass screen on your development computer screen. you can get the latest version of it here:
The most current version was 1.0.2 to date of this publication.
In order to configure Droid@Screen we need to tell it where adb is. The Android Studio.app folder structure we talked about is not recognized by most apps. This it is necessary to create a symbolic link to our dab file. We can do this by using this command:
Why Im not excited about multitasking! On iOS, OS X, Windows or any other platform, multitasking simply is not a good fit for humans.
The reason is that while these operating systems might multitask and quite efficiently at times, humans and human brains more specifically, cannot multitask.
Let’s take the typical working day. Let’s say that you finish eating lunch at home and get back in the car to drive to your office. On the way to work you remember that you have to pick up some groceries on your way back home.
A few minutes later a call comes in and you are asked to email some information to a client.
Now you realize you do not have that client’s email, but a friend of yours does have it. You decide to call that friend and ask him for the information so you move over your phone application. You get the client’s email but along with that information comes an invitation to a social gathering later on that night. Now you must switch over to your calendar app and add that reminder. You probably want to add a reminder to notify your spouse as well.
After all these distractions you finally open up your email client in order to send the information. If you’re lucky you have managed to reach your office without crashing. Don’t cry victory yet, you still have to park your car.
You open up your email client just to realize you have five new email messages. Two of these require urgent attention. You are lucky enough to have the information needed by one of these two emails, however you must open up What’s App and search through many chats in order to retrieve information for the last email.
As luck would have it the information was not in your What’s App application but you are sure it’s either in your Twitter client or Facebook. You search both these applications without any success and as soon as you are about to tap on Google+, a “Running with Friends” game notification pops up on your screen and you accidentally tap on it and you’re taken to the App Store for an in app purchase. Now you realize you have about three updates pending for applications. You tap on “Update All” and realize you do not have Internet connectivity at the moment.
So your phone is multitasking quite well, it has Twitter, Facebook, What’s App, Calendar, App Store and a few other applications running at the same time.
You on the other hand right now are probably parked on top of your boss’ car, are fired, are getting insulting messages from your spouse because you did not notify her on time, your friend is upset because you did not RSVP, the kids are mad because you did not pick up the groceries, and you have lost one of the most important sales of your career.