How to: Sideload Google Glass OTA Updates

I have been asked many times recently and often see questions and posts by Explorers wondering how to sideload an OTA update to Google Glass, so today I want to share the steps on how to successfully complete this process.

First things first, we need the OTA file you want to update. These OTAs are specific as to what they are upgrading from and to. So make sure that you are on the correct version prior to attempting to run the update. If it is not correct, it will fail validation and it will stop prior to update. For example, the following OTA is from XE17.31 to XE18.1:

http://android.clients.google.com/packages/ota/google_glass_1_release/645f3740ae76c2ea8f1773f24ff78e04adf91167.glass_1-ota-1218353_user-from-1216444_user.zip

On your computer, you need to have ADB set up. Instructions for this can be found here for Windows and here for Mac.

On the Glass side of things, let’s make sure that Debug Mode is enabled within the Glass settings bundle (It can be found under the Device Info card). Once debugging is enabled, we should be good to start.

While plugged in to your computer, run the following command to reboot into Recovery mode:

adb reboot recovery

You will know you are there because your Glass screen will display a triangle with an exclamation point inside and the text ‘no command’. When you see this, double-clicking the camera button should bring up the recovery window.

The navigation within Recovery mode is as follows:

camera-camera = select
camera-power = up
power-camera = down

So we need to scroll down (power-camera) to ‘apply update from ADB’. Once this option is highlighted, tapping the camera button twice will put the device into sideload mode.

Once in this mode, run the following command from your computer:

adb sideload otafile.zip (where otafile.zip is the OTA zip that you downloaded)

It will run for a while (10-12 minutes) and will seem like it is hung on ‘Patching System Files’ — but it isn’t, patience is the key.

Once this has completed, it will bring you back to the Recovery menu. The next step is to scroll up (cam-pow) to ‘Wipe Cache partition’. Select it with camera-camera.

After the cache has been wiped, you can scroll up to ‘Reboot System’ and cam-cam your way on home.

Once the device is back up and kicking, you should be on the update that was flashed.