1. A Nexus Q (buy)
  2. An Android device running Jelly Bean (for example, Nexus 7 (buy)). We will call this device the “controller”, your computer (e.g. laptop) the “computer”, and your Q the “Q”. Ostensibly (according to the Nexus Q app description on Google Play), the Q will work with any Android OS 2.3.4 or above. However so far it only appears to work with Jelly Bean (Android OS 4.1). If you don’t have a Jelly Bean device, then until more devices are supported you can use the ICS instructions found here (scroll down to the part that says “SKIP IF RUNNING JELLY BEAN ON CLIENT DEVICE”).
  3. Download the Nexus Q app onto your controller.
  4. Now, play with your Q using the Nexus Q app to get a feel for how it works. Notice the distinct lack of functionality… But what it does, it does pretty well! Sometimes I have gotten popups on my controller that said it had lost bluetooth communication, but that connection was apparently instantly reformed as I could still interact with the Q immediately after getting that popup.
  5. Enable USB debugging on your controller. Go to Settings > Developer options, and enable USB debugging (on older Android devices this option is found in Settings > Applications > Development). Although we will not necessarily be using the USB debugging feature of the controller, enabling this is necessary to be able to enable USB debugging on the Q in the next step. [Thanks Jim Martens.]
  6. Enable USB debugging on the Q using the Nexus Q app on your controller. On the app, go to Advanced Settings > Enable USB Debugging > On.
  7. Install adb and fastboot on your computer. [more details coming. For now just start with this. It's overkill but will work. If you're a developer you have probably already done this.]
  8. Install the Google USB drivers. Navigate to the <sdk-installation-directory> and click on SDK Manager.exe. Expand Extras. Check the checkbox for the Google USB driver package, then click Install. Proceed to install the package. When done, the driver files are downloaded into the <sdk-installation-directory>\extras\google\usb_driver\ directory. If for some reason you want to install the Google USB drivers without using SDK Manager, follow these instructions instead.
  9. Plug your computer into the Q using a male USB A to male USB micro B cable. This is just the standard cable you probably already own. The connection may be tight, just make sure you put it in straight and the correct way around. If you have Linux it will probably register on your computer, but if you have Windows it will probably fail to find a driver even if you installed the drivers in the previous step, because those driver files are missing a line with the hardware IDs that Windows needs in order to recognize it. More info on that in the next step.
  10. Check that your computer can “see” the Q. To do this:
    1. Open a command prompt.
      • On Windows, click Start, type “cmd.exe”, click it, navigate to C:\<your-sdk-installation-directory>\android-sdk\platform-tools. Type “adb devices”. If it lists a device connected, you are good to go. However chances are it will not list a device, as it didn’t for me. In this case, do the following:
          • In Windows, open the file called C:\<your-sdk-installation-directory>\android-sdk\extras\google\usb_driver\android_winusb.inf in your favorite notepad editor. I wouldn’t use the built-in Windows notepad as sometimes it has problems with character encoding linefeeds etc. I would use the excellent free Notepad++ program.
          • You’ll notice it’s in sections, e.g. there’s a [Google.NTx86] section and a [Google.NTamd64] section. At the bottom of both the [Google.NTx86] section and the [Google.NTamd64] sections, put the following three lines:
; Nexus Q
%CompositeAdbInterface% = USB_Install, USB\VID_18D1&PID_2C10&REV_0216
%CompositeAdbInterface% = USB_Install, USB\VID_18D1&PID_2C10&REV_0000

* Save it and close it. The astute observer will note that you actually need it in only one of those sections, depending on if you have 32-bit or 64-bit machine, but it doesn’t hurt to put it in both.

* Now click Start menu and type “devmgmt.msc” and open it. You will see the Q show up somewhere as “Nexus” with a yellow exclamation mark. Right click > Update Driver Software > Browse my computer > Browse > Locate that file you just modified, click OK. It will give you a warning message but click accept.

* The Q will drop off the devmgmt.msc list, then in a few seconds come back on, this time listed as “Tungsten”. Then it should drop back off and come back on again as “Android Phone” or similar, right at the top of the list. You may need to restart the Q (or possibly your computer) to see these changes.

* Now, go back to cmd.exe, navigate to the adb installation directory again, type “adb devices” and you should see the serial number of your device listed.

* On Linux, open a command prompt, navigate to <your-sdk-installation-directory>/android-sdk/platform-tools, type “adb devices”. If it lists a device connected, you are good to go.

  1. Now, with that out of the way, we are about to go make it do way more stuff, slightly less well. Keep in mind that the Q was not designed for this, so some apps may break. Hardhats on, here we go!
  2. Back to main menu
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License