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How to set up ChromeADB on Windows

How to set up ChromeADB on Windows
[[Neo]]
  • On January 22, 2014
  • http://about.me/neotsn

Earlier today I caught a shared post in my Google+ stream talking about a Chrome Webstore App called ChromeADB.

This ChromeADB app is by no means the only way to interact with the software installed on your Android device, but it does give an easy to use interface that stays within the Chrome and Google/Android infrastructure without grabbing a bunch of different third-party pieces to put together.

The following steps assume that you have already been able to get Google Glass to show up in your Windows Device manager as a recognized device. If you haven’t, I’ll have a tutorial on how to do that in the near future.

Disclaimer: This guide is intended only to describe the setup process that I had to figure out personally in order to get this software to see my Google Glass device. I do not recommend making any modifications to your Google Glass device without an acquired understanding of what you’re actually doing. I cannot be held responsible for any damage, directly or indirectly, resulting from your use of this software, or the instructions in my how-to guide. These are the steps I followed, and are screenshots from my own PC and Glass devices. I cannot offer technical support for the ChromeADB application, and have no knowledge of its development path.

Start by getting the Android SDK/ADT

To get this set up, first you need to start the 480MB+ download of the Android SDK (I used the ADT bundle because just the SDK tools did not end up working for me). The purpose of this download is for the ADB (Android Debug Bridge) toolkit it provides that is necessary for any interaction with an Android Device on Windows.

Unpack the Android SDK/ADT

Per the instructions, on the Setting up the ADT Bundle page, I simply created a C:\development folder on my computer.

The ADB tools unpacked and navigated to on my PC

The ADB tools unpacked and navigated to on my PC

Open the .zip file, copy the 1.2GB of files out of it and drop them into the C:\development directory. Navigate to \sdk\platform-tools and you’ll find the adb.exe file there.

Fire up a Command Prompt

Once you’ve unpacked your ADT Bundle, start up a command prompt at that location.

ADB Command Prompt

ADB Command Prompt

  1. Connect your Google Glass device to the PC via USB
  2. “Start Menu > Run” — OR — “Windows Key + R”
  3. Type: cmd
  4. Hit Enter
  5. Copy the directory from the Explorer window where your ADB files are located… presumably c:\development\sdk\platform-tools
  6. Type: cd c:\development\sdk\platform-tools (or whatever your directory is after the “cd ” command)
  7. Type: adb start-server
  8. Once the server starts successfully, Type: adb devices
  9. You should see a list of [probably 1] devices that are recognized by the adb software.

Get the ChromeADB App

If you haven’t already, open up Chrome, go to the Chrome Webstore, and search for the ChromeADB app. It should look something like this in the results:

ChromeADB in the Chrome Webstore

ChromeADB in the Chrome Webstore

Connect the ChromeADB App

Install the App to Chrome, then type into the URL of your Chrome Browser: chrome://apps/ (or use the desktop app launcher) and open it up. It should look like this, at first:

ChromeADB Disconnected

ChromeADB Disconnected

You’ll notice in the lower left-hand corner there is a Log Message section that indicates you’re disconnected, and has instructions for how to start up the ADB server. We’ve already started the ADB server in the steps above. So, all you’ll need to do is take a look at the command prompt and find the port number. It should say something like:

* daemon not running. starting it now on port 5037 *

It will default to 5037, and you just need to make sure that the correct port number is in the box in the upper-right-hand box next to the green Connect button.

Click the Connect button. You should get a window now that shows your Glass as a device id (like the one shown when using the adb devices command prompt command).

ChromeADB Connected

ChromeADB Connected

From here you can see the applications installed on your Android Device (in this case, Google Glass). You can clear their data, force-stop them, and uninstall the app altogether.

Personally, I have only used this application as a viewer to see into my device and look at what packages are installed, how much memory they are using, how much disk space is used/free and what processes are running. I have not used this application to make any modifications to my device (though I have made some modifications to my device by sideloading other applications with a different software tool.)

WARNING: You probably shouldn’t uninstall anything you didn’t personally install, or you could really mess up your device. I cannot be held responsible for any decisions you make to click any of the buttons in this application.

I hope you found this guide useful, and if you would like to know how to do something else related to Google Glass, leave a message in the comments below and I will look into it.

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