google glass home screenThere has been lots of buzz on the Internet about Google Glass, some has been positive, some has been negative (particularly around privacy issues), however the biggest problem is that ordinary folks, like me and you, can’t try out Google Glass for ourselves to see what all the fuss is about because there are only a limited number of devices out there. Plus there are the minor issues of the $1500 needed to buy it and the fact that the program is invitation only. What to do?

The answer of course is to run Google Glass on your Android phone or tablet. OK, you probably shouldn’t try and mount it on your head with rubber bands and Scotch tape, but you can play with the interface and test out what kind of things Google Glass can do.

Thanks to the efforts of Zhuowei Zhang it is now possible to install different parts of the Google Glass software on your Android device via .apk files. An .apk is the standard app file format, similar to a .exe on Windows. To install the .apk files you need to check that your device can install .apk from locations other than Goolgle Play. To do this go to Setting->Security and make sure that “Unknown Sources” is checked. This will allow the installation of apps from sources other than the Play Store.

Google Glass Voice Commands

Head over to and download and install glasshome-modded.apk. This will give you the basic Glass home screen. Once you start the app (called “Glass Home”) you will be presented with the “standard” Glass home screen and clock that real Glass users see projected onto their eye. Say “OK Glass” to access the menu. Just speak to your phone or tablet to try other things. I said, “Google Android Authority” and this is what I saw:

google glass android authority

The next thing to do is install the camera, hangouts and maps modules. That should enable the Glass Home app to interact with the camera (even just the front facing camera on devices like the Nexus 7), start hangouts and access Google Maps. However with maps I found that I couldn’t get past the initial warning screen (which told me to keep my eyes on the road) and Hangouts crashes on Android 4.2 due to a change in the underlying Android code!

Although this isn’t going to be a full glass experience, it will give you a feel for what Glass can do. It also opens up more possibilities for what Google could add to the normal Android interface.

If you give it a try please let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Gary Sims
Gary has been a tech writer for over a decade and specializes in open source systems. He has a Bachelor's degree in Business Information Systems. He has many years of experience in system design and development as well as system administration, system security and networking protocols. He also knows several programming languages, as he was previously a software engineer for 10 years.
  • MasterMuffin

    Installed it, nothing works. Doesn’t recognize “ok glass” and after pressing home button to get away, phone froze and I had to reboot it >:(

  • paxmos

    I cannot wait for this thing to fall flat on its face. It’s not enough that we have crazy drivers with these cell phones and other gadgets really distracted on the roads, all we need is a bunch of weird looking idiots with these glasses causing all sort of chaos and accident not to mention the privacy issues (not that nybody really cares about that these days). I smell lots of money for lawyers.

    • Nathaniel_Graham

      Do believe everything that the media feeds to you?

      • paxmos

        hey…nice avatar…

    • pbretones

      and why should everybody suffer because of the idiots we have in the world. going by your logic, cellphones and cameras should be banned.

      • paxmos

        First of all, you do realize that nowadays we do suffer the consequences of many idiots’ actionsin this world. I am not saying that they should be banned, only if a few!!! of us had the intelligence to use them properly. Example, texting or calling while driving on a highway and causing an accident that killed my cousin..I rest my case….

        • Sylvain Labelle

          you have to watch out for other drivers too how many times did it take your cousin to pass his liscense

          • paxmos

            You are such a smart cookie…I guess if he knew he was going to be side hit by a driver running the red light because he was busy texting, he would’ve then “watched out for other drivers too” !!!!

    • Nickan Fayyazi

      Do you own a smartphone?

      • paxmos

        I own a few….Let’s see….Nexus 4, Xperia T, Nokia N9, iPhone 4S, Galaxy S2 and just purchased a Nokia 620 (all unlocked)..I hope that answers your question. Which ever one I use, I do not use it while I am driving even though I have BT at my disposal. :)

        • Nickan Fayyazi

          I assume by privacy issues, you mean your data being available to Google to use. With Glass, they can’t do anything with your data that they can’t already do with your smartphones.

          • paxmos

            Thanks for clarifying, but that is not what I meant…What you say has been a known fact for a long time.

        • nishantsirohi123

          looks like you have been having lot of fun in the San Fransisco subway

          • paxmos

            Oh gosh..You are so funny…What’s up with the name Mortaz????

    • Chetan Takyar

      You are the type of person that desnt let tech advance. I hope it sells great,

      • paxmos

        Tech will advance with or without my PERSONAL opinion, we are also allowed and free to express such opinions, and others who cannot tolerate them, well that is their problem.

        • ChetanTakyar

          Obviously there will be laws for driving so why limit opportunity and potential of tech?

          • paxmos

            I think I have been misunderstood here. I really do not have any issues with technology (I make my living working in technology field), I have an issue with people (perhaps a few) utilizing the mobile technology in a very improper way.

  • Ehsan Eslamian

    I tried the home on N4, works fine. haven’t tried camera, but the search “OK glass. google …..” works really good. Thanks.

  • beginnerandroid

    First i have a basic query it runs on all versions of android right ? (from 2.3 to 4.2 )
    Hi i get a parse error when i run the app on my android phone.

    • crane476

      You have to have a minimum of Android 4.0 installed.

  • mikeGsays

    Definitely not ready for primetime on my S4, not one thing works as it should…… oh well, maybe next time!

    • dnyank1

      It’s not EVER supposed to “be ready for prime time” on your S4. It’s AN EYEGLASS OS. For EYEGLASSES.

      Phone =/= EYEGLASSES

      • mikeGsays

        Dummy….. this is a modded APK designed to work on phones and tablets – but you knew that because you actually read the article, right?

        • dnyank1

          Yeah, It’s a MODDED APK. It’s a HACK of the original software, without the source code, to boot.

  • Installed it yesterday thanks to CNET article, OK GLASS, TAKE A PICTURE, GOOGLE SOMETHING is good, but can’t sync contact because camera on phone didn’t turn on the whole time and when I said RECORD A VIDEO, I didn’t know how to stop it.
    Uninstalled a few hours later, just give it a try guys

  • Mirza Mašić

    Doesn’t work. Recognizes “ok glass”, but after that, nothing.

  • Igimo

    Awesome — wonder if it will work with the new Special Edition of Google Glass:

  • Yea the reason it doesn’t work to you guys is because Glass is running 4.0 ICS and not JB…works good on my ICS phone though.
    Awesome experience. =)

  • Eduardo Grotteschi

    I have a Galaxy S3 and installed it. It works great the picture and video, but have issues in the others menues, because it said: “Not network connectivity” but dont know how to configurate it…

  • Joeffrey Sylvester

    Doesn’t work on Tab 2 7.0.. :( It keep saying “Can’t reach Google
    right now, Tap to view connection settings”. When I tap, nothing pop
    out. Is it because I’m using mobile network?

  • nishantsirohi123

    i cant use google search with this, even though i verified my google account, but it is fun to play with it

  • Jon Langevin

    passed != past (grammar)

  • Caboose25

    just installed on my HOX and i must say its sweet except for the fact that it wont work with the camera. other than that its awesome!

  • Ugo Marceau

    Installed it on my S2, the first command I say works, but then I can’t go back to the menu. And now my home button doesn’t work anymore ^^
    I’ll just uninstall for now but keeping the .apk on my phone in case I want to play with it again.

  • عيسا عمر


  • عيسا عمر


  • Sachin Bhatt

    Installed on Nexus 7. Cant use google because the setup wont display a camera to use the QR code.