Google seems to be preparing to put Google Glass app development into high gear, encouraging developers to start making Android apps for it. Glass team member Alain Vongsouvanh made the call, perhaps in anticipation of the imminent release of the Glass Development Kit (GDK).
Announced at Google I/O earlier this year, the GDK will allow developers to build Google Glass applications or “Glassware” in the form of an APK that can be installed and run directly on the device. At the moment, Glass developers only have access to a web-based service with a limited set of APIs that allows access to the hardware. Google has not made any announcement as to exactly when the GDK will be made available.
In the meantime, Vongsouvanh recommends preparing for its arrival by developing Glassware using the regular Android SDK with API level 15 (corresponding to Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich). Since Glass will be running Android 4.0.4, the Android SDK already provides developers with the API to access hardware such as an accelerometer and features like media playback and Android widgets. Using the existing SDK will also allow beginners to get familiar with Android development before jumping into developing Glassware.
The Glass team has also provided some APK samples to help developers get started. These include a stopwatch, a compass, and a level, with more examples coming in the weeks ahead. Vongsouvanh also promised to update these examples in order to demonstrate how to smoothly transition from a regular Android app to a Google Glass app once the GDK has been released.