Today during a session at Google I/O, Google Senior Developer Advocate for Glass Timothy Jordan announced that Google was currently working on a native development environment for developers looking to work with its head mounted computer. The Glass Development Kit is in process now and there’s no current ETA for its arrival.
Jordan notes that running the Explorer program, which ships Glass out to pre-orderers and some high-profile users, and developing the kit at the same time has presented challenges.
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The kit will allow for many things that are not currently possible using the already existing Glass Mirror API. Some of those things include offline access, which will download things like navigation instructions for later viewing and giving more direct access to the Glass hardware.
Jordan says that the GDK will essentially be ‘like developing for Android, with a new library’, so developers familiar with working on Android shouldn’t have a problem. This isn’t too surprising as Glass does run on Android.
The current Google Mirror API uses a combination of technologies like HTML and Json to allow developers to quickly build ‘apps’ with a variety of functions. The New York Times, for instance, sends cards to the unit that feature headlines that Glass can read out loud. A native environment, however, would allow for much more flexibility and possibility for developers, as the structure of the Mirror API limits heavily what kinds of things can be shared and how they’re presented to the user.
Jordan went on to solicit developers for suggestions on features that they’d like to see appear in the new GDK. The session also outlined a variety of ‘best practices’ for developers including how much data they use and how much share of user attention they grab.