(Mostly prompted by this question: How to upload images onto Google Glass device and view them?)

Are questions regarding Google Glass on-topic for Android Enthusiasts?

Google Glass at Wikipedia

It runs Android 4.0.4 (currently). "Hacks" to the firmware will require Android development, not unlike custom ROMs.

Other wearable devices, e.g., Samsung Galaxy Gear, are on-topic.

Should Google Glass be considered on-topic for Android Enthusiasts? Why or why not?

  • It seems like the general feeling is "yes", so can we have a note in help/on-topic to make this clear to new visitors? Also, please vote for android.stackexchange.com/q/61670/12442 to be reopened.
    – Dan Hulme
    Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 12:15

3 Answers 3


As a preface, I've generally been a proponent of interpreting the scope of our site relatively strictly, and keeping it fairly narrow so that it doesn't lose focus from the intended goal (Android). Gadgets, I feel, ended up shutting down for a reason, and I don't want us to turn into Gadgets 2.0.

With that in mind, I think we should accept questions about Glass.

It runs Android. Although it's not using quite the same Android that other devices run, neither is Google TV, or the Galaxy Gear or even things like the Kindle Fire. As long as the questions are within the other bounds of our scope (non-development, not a shopping/purchasing question, etc), I don't really see a reason to exclude them, personally.

Now, granted, there is a significantly smaller set of people around who could answer Glass questions with any kind of authority at the moment. However, I don't think we should let that alone dissuade us. Hopefully we'll be able to attract some Glass experts over time.

Also, I suppose at some point we may need to deal with the fact that there is a Google Glass proposal on Area 51. It's only in the commitment phase, though, so if we decide to allow questions about Glass here then we could likely subsume it.

  • This sounds good to me. Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 1:45

I've said a few thoughts about this in chat, so I'll repeat them here. I really want Glass to be on-topic here, because it's a cool device, but we've got to think about what's best for the site and its users. As I see it, here are the pros and cons:-

It should be on-topic because:-

  • Its OS is really Android under the hood, so in a sense, it is an Android device
  • It's a Google device, so people interested in Android are likely to be interested in Glass too if/when it goes on general sale.
  • There's nowhere else for those questions to go. The Google Glass proposal on Area 51 seems unlikely to get off the ground.

It should be off-topic because:-

  • It's not 'visibly' an Android device: you can't run normal Android apps on it, and it has its own Mirror API for writing apps in a different way to on Android.
  • There's currently no overlap with our existing users: knowing how to solve a problem on Android doesn't help you solve the problem on Glass, and wanting to solve a problem on Android doesn't mean you want a solution for the same problem on Glass. We'd be creating a ghetto of Glass users and experts within our community.
  • For the above reason, it would be like launching a site from scratch. Without a cadre of committed Glass experts on the site, any Glass questions would remain unanswered until they go on general sale and some of our existing experts pick them up.

Red herrings

I don't think accepting questions about Samsung Galaxy Gear or similar devices is relevant to our decision here. Samsung Galaxy Gear isn't a stand-alone gadget: it only works as a peripheral to a Samsung Android phone. Any question about Gear is necessarily going to be about using it in conjunction with an Android device. The same isn't true of Glass. Other wearables are either similar to Gear - they act as a peripheral just like a Bluetooth headset - or they're full Android devices in themselves, with access to the same apps as other Android devices.

Overall, I think it's a tricky call. I think accepting these questions is the wrong decision in the short-term, because of the ghetto problem. That said, the prospect of attracting a new cadre of site visitors in the longer term is attractive, and to do that, we need to start now.


I think Google Glass can have his place on Android Enthusiasts.


  • Google Glass runs on Android.
  • Google Glass will have his place in the Android Ecosystem.
  • Google Glass will share applications with Android. (informations are passed to and from a paired Android device)
  • A googleglass.SE site would be too localised and won't have many content available : developers will mainly go for Stack Overflow (or programmers.SE) and users will often attempt to ask here, on android.SE. (also see this post on the area51 proposal)


  • As it is now, the user base is a niche, and as such, questions will mainly remains answered. (but it may not be a big problem as questions can be answered later, when Google Glass will be released to the public)
  • Development questions should evidently still go to Stack Overflow or programmers.SE.


If we choose to cover Google Glass, I think we should alert the area51 proposal so they can share their knowledge (as it is now almost one year since it was started, I don't think they'll get mad).

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