We kinda saw this one coming: Google Glass is based on Android. Company CEO Larry Page made the revelation during Google's 1Q13 earnings call on Thursday.
Towards the end of the call (1:08), Page responded to a question about the amount of "incremental engagement" Google will see over the next several years regarding the company's products and new form factors like Glass. The questioner also asked how transportable Android will be across these new form factors.
"Obviously Glass runs on Android," Page said. "So [Android] has been pretty transportable across devices, and I think that will continue."
Prior to that, he addressed the "incremental engagement" aspect of the question, and even mentioned "watches and things". He acknowledged that computers are a big part of everyone's life, and it's increasing as they grow more and more useful. Because we only have twenty-four hours in a day, the usefulness of the consumer's engagement will increase.
Prior to the earnings call, it was unknown what was powering the Google Glass hardware. Google hadn't mentioned a thing, and it was presumed to be Android. But recent reports suggested otherwise, that Google chose to create a proprietary platform separate from Android instead. That doesn't make any sense from a business and compatibility standpoint, but whatever.
Although Glass isn't capable of launching complex apps, having the face-mounted tech running the same base platform used on millions of smartphones and tablets is undoubtedly good news for Android/Glass developers to some degree. But as pointed out by CNET, Glass still has its own separate API (application programming interface) called Mirror, meaning developers won't simply create Android apps that take advantage of the Glass hardware.
Google released the specs list for Glass earlier this week, revealing a 5MP camera capable of shooting 720p video. Other features include a bone conduction transducer for pumping audio into the wearer's ear, Wireless G and Bluetooth connectivity, 12 GB of internal storage (16 GB total), and a high-resolution screen that's the equivalent of a 25-inch high definition screen from eight feet away.
The specs are currently landing in the hands of those who bought into the company's Explorer program for a hefty $1500 USD (you'd think it would have Wireless N for that price). The consumer version isn’t expected to launch until the end of 2013 or possibly into 1Q14, depending on how the Explorer program goes.
So, with all that said, what version of Android does Glass use? The Myglass companion app for smartphones requires Android 4.0.3 "Ice Cream Sandwich" or higher, so maybe it's a version of that at least (pure speculation). However Glass will work with any Bluetooth-capable phone, according to Google.