Upon first hearing about Google Glass, along with “How much will it cost?” and “When will it be released?”, there’s one question that everyone seems to ask: “Will you be able to watch YouTube?” One can assume considering the popularity of the service that it will at least be possible–through third-party developers who want to show that it’s possible, or eventually with Google’s blessing.
Will there be Google-approved Mirror API-built Glassware released that streams YouTube videos on the first version of Glass? I doubt it, considering Google’s stance that using Glass is about “getting out of the way.” Google didn’t build the device to watch YouTube videos.
The Mirror API allows the inclusion of videos in cards, but Google encourages developers to keep them limited to around 10 seconds. Some people, however, want to push Google Glass to be a full Android phone replacement. It runs full Android, yes, but the device isn’t yet meant to be a phone. Generation 2, 3, or 4 of Glass may very well have a native app ecosystem, but Google is only supporting Glassware at the current time–apps that are usually extensions of other services, not services themselves.
One Google Glass Explorer, +James Betker, has decided to boldly go against Google’s philosophy regarding Glass and create an app that adds the ability to view YouTube videos.
I released the first version of this app a couple of weeks ago, but I have finally finished polishing and optimizing it! This app allows you to watch YouTube videos on your Glass. The videos are taken from a YouTube feed and placed directly on your timeline, and you need only click on the video card that you want to watch and press “View Video” to get some video action rolling!
The app is not technically “Glassware.” This is a sideloaded Android application that one must install using ADB.
To get started, head over to this Android File Host location to grab the compiled APK for the app. If you want the source files, you can find them on GitHub.
Install the app
1. Extract all the files in the same directory as ADB.
2. Right click on the file .youtubeconfig and click “Edit” (or ‘Open with Notepad’)
3. This is the configuration file, you will need to set it up to make the app work as you wish before you load it on your Glass (see below for instructions).
4. Save the changes to your configuration file and open up a command window and browse to your adb directory.
5. Type `adb push .youtubefeedconfig sdcard/`
6. Type `adb install YoutubeFeeds.apk`
7. Type `adb install com.google.android.youtube-2.apk`
8. Type `adb shell am start -n com.appliedanalog.glass.youtube/.MainActivity`
9. Put Google Glass on and check out your timeline.
Set up the configuration file
1. youtubeFeed should be set to the feed URL you wish to be sent to your Glass. I highly recommend you do your subscription feed if you are a YouTube user, and becoming a user and subscribing to some channels if you are not. If you go this route, you will want to un-comment the line`#youtubeFeed=http://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/base/users/<username>/newsubscriptionvideos`by removing the pound (#) sign. Then, replace `<username>` with your YouTube username. Next, comment out any other line that starts with “youtubeFeed=” by adding a pound sign to the beginning of it. Finally, copy the URL to your favorite browser to make sure it works!
2. queryInterval is how often the app will download the feed and add new videos to your timeline, in minutes.
3. sendAllVideos determines whether or not all videos in the feed are packaged together on your timeline every time a new video is posted. If you set this to `false`, only new videos will be put on your timeline as they come in. I recommend leaving it to true.
Using the app
The app’s developer James Betker has done a great job of explaining how to use the app over at his site, but i’ll give a quick rundown.
Once you’ve installed the app, you’ll see a new Timeline card that shows you which feed you’re pulling from and how often it’s being updated. This card allows you to stop the feed.
Once you have installed the app, you should see a new card on your timeline that tells you what YouTube feed is being pulled and how often it is being pulled. This is the controller card, you can use it to stop the feed whenever you want. When you stop the feed, the controller card is pinned to the front of your timeline. You can then use this to start your feed back up. I recommend that you do not delete this card as it will be very difficult to start the feed up if you do.
If you’ve configured the app correctly, you should start to see videos appear in your feed after just a few moments. To watch them, simply give them a tap.