Chapter 13. The GDK

The Google Glass ecosystem includes the ability to build client applications to be installed on Glass that interface directly with the system, doing things that largely aren’t available through services dependent on the cloud-resident Mirror API, including offline capabilities, sensor access, and real-time interactivity. The Glass Development Kit (GDK) is a library that extends the larger Android SDK by letting developers write full Android applications in Java and use associated tools for debugging, crash reporting, and analysis.

This chapter gives you an overview of the GDK, its capabilities, the distinct UI elements it provides for Glass, and design patterns for working with each type of UI element—the right way.

Mike DiGiovanni, an insatiably curious coder from New Jersey whose early add-ons for Glass included Winky, which later became the system wink-to-take-a-picture gesture, enthusiastically proclaimed about the GDK, “Native Glass development is, by far, the most exciting development that I’ve done in years.” Many throughout the Glass community happily echoed this sentiment.

Installed Apps Running on Glass

It’s important to note here that native development on Glass doesn’t change the core goals of the product—you’re still catering to microinteractions in a head-mounted display. This is key to being able to Think for Glass. The fundamentals of the Think for Glass philosophy don’t change at all; the GDK just provides a new set of tools at your disposal for ...

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