In the early days of Google Glass, everybody who picked up their unit would also be whitelisted for access to the Mirror API, as Google only wanted developers with access to the actual hardware to develop for the device. Well, those days are over. Google announced over the weekend that the whitelist is now gone and the Mirror API is open to all.
There are currently two ways of writing applications for Glass. One is through the Mirror API, which allows developers to asynchronously push and pull information to and from the device and then display it in a card-like interface. This works great for news apps, social networking services and other services that can use Glass to display status updates and similar information.
For apps that need real-time access to Glass’ hardware and want to display information outside of the card interface, Google launched the Glass Development Kit (GDK) last week. This opens up a whole new range of possibilities for developers, but while anybody with a bit of web development experience can write apps for the Mirror API, writing GDK apps is a bit more involved.
So far, Google has only allowed a very small number of applications into its official “Glassware” directory, so it’s virtually impossible to gauge how many Mirror API-based prototype apps for Glass already exist. But this announcement will surely motivate a large number of developers to create Glass apps even if they don’t have access to the actual hardware yet.