How to: Sideload Google Glass apps using ChromeADB for Mac and Windows

We recently published two articles walking you through how to sideload apps onto Google Glass using ADB on both Mac and Windows. Both of these methods, on each respective system,  used built-in software (besides the SDK itself) that you can use without any prior configuration. Today, though, we’re going to walk you through an easier way to accomplish the same outcome via an app called ChromeADB. The app is a piece of Chrome software made by BrickSimple, which allows you to easily access ADB functions in a more user-friendly way–and with an awesome UI! 

Before installing ChromeADB, you must install ADB itself on your computer whether it is a Mac or a Windows machine. Just follow the steps on how to install ADB and set your PATH, then come back to this page to learn how to use ChromeADB.

How to install ADB on Mac

How to install ADB on Windows

How to install and use ChromeADB

Once you successfully installed ADB itself on your computer (and added it to your PATH), we can continue with ChromeADB.

1. ChromeADB is available for download in the Chrome Web Store.

ChromeADB Install


2. Now we will turn on debug mode on Glass. To achieve this, we will put on Google Glass and swipe all the way to the left and click on the Settings bundle. Next, navigate to the right and click on the Device Info card. Swipe once to right and you will want to tap the “Turn on debug” card,  giving our computer access to Glass once plugged in.

3. Plug Google Glass into your computer and open ChromeADB by using the Chrome App Launcher (Mac and Windows), the Apps shortcut in the bookmark bar (Mac and Windows) or using Spotlight (Mac).

ChromeADB Open


4. Once it is opened you should see a string of characters in the Device List on the left side of the window, signaling it recognizes your Google Glass.

ChromeADB Device List

If you don’t see this, don’t worry quit yet; all it means is that an ADB server has been not started yet. You will most likely see the following Log Message.

ChromeADB Start Server

If this happens, quit out of ChromeADB.

To start an ADB server on Mac you will open Terminal. You can find this basic command prompt app in “Utilities” in your Application folder, or by typing “Terminal” in spotlight.

To do this on Windows you can try a few different ways, but for simplicity’s sake, just click on your start button, and in the “search programs and files” box, simply type in “CMD”.

Once you have a command prompt window open, type:

adb start-server

Press Enter.

Next to see if your computer recognizes Glass type:

adb devices

Press Enter.

Now you can reopen ChromeADB and press the Connect button at the top right corner of the window.

How to install apps using ChromeADB

On the main screen of ChromeADB you will see many options, including “Clear Data,” “Uninstall,” and “Force Stop.” We will be working with the Install Package button.

1. Click Install Package to open a window where you can browse your computer for the APK file of the application you wish to install. For this example we will use Shop X by +Ryan Kopinsky. Select the APK of the app you want installed and press Open.

ChromeADB Install Shop[x]


6. In the Log Message box you should see it say “Installing” and then you will be left with a message similar to this.

ChromeADB Install Success

How to uninstall apps using ChromeADB

Uninstalling apps on Google Glass using ChromeADB is in fact easier than installing though it could brick your device if not careful. We will be uninstalling the app we just installed Shop[x].

1. Locate the app you wish to remove. Each app is written in this style or similar:


2. Click the red button with the trashcan on it under the UNINSTALL next to app you want uninstalled.

ChromeADB Shop[x] Uninstall


3. Once clicked you will see this in the Log Message:

ChromeADB Shop[x] Uninstall Success

4. That’s it!

Note: I recommend that you never use the “Clear Data” or the “Force Stop” functions unless you are 100% sure what you are doing. Also, be careful not to uninstall packages that came on Glass, since deleting certain ones could potentially result in bricking of your device. Be careful with how you use these powerful functions.

Let us know what you think about ChromeADB and whether or not you will be installing it!