Ah, Google Glass. Though the venerable headset has a lot of potential, it has yet to become something people want to use all the time. If you're a social media addict, a news junkie, or a productivity pro, though, Google's heads-up computer just got a lot more compelling. Today at I/O, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, CNN, Elle, and Evernote pledged to support Glass by releasing official applications - "glassware," as Google calls them. Facebook's app is available now.
The social media apps do what you'd expect: post pictures and text. Facebook's app allows users to upload photos to their timelines and add descriptions with voice. It's not yet possible to tag people in pictures - that requires a more capable device - but the app does provide limited sharing options for photos: users can share with friends, the public, or no one. Twitter's app, which is still in development, seems a lot more functional. It displays alerts, for example, and also supports the tweeting of photos, which are automatically tagged with "#throughglass." It's unclear what the Tumblr app will look like, but details are hopefully forthcoming.
CNN and Elle will be the second and third media companies to support Glass, respectively. (The New York Times released an app several weeks ago.) Details on Elle's app are sketchy at best - the magazine said it's putting together a team to ensure a cohesive user experience - but one feature that might make it into the final application is the ability to listen to articles read aloud. CNN's app seems substantially similar to The New York Times', providing users with news updates throughout the day.
The Evernote Glass app is pretty barebones. Currently, it serves as little more than an augmented reality receptacle for text reminders; users are able to shoot text-based lists to Glass from the Evernote web client. However, the company did reaffirm their commitment to "wearables" in a blog post on the Evernote website, and insisted that their Glass app preview was "only the beginning."
One of the major concerns about Glass is its third-party support. Today's announcements should help to alleviate some of those worries. I wouldn't go so far as to say all of Glass' usability and utility problems have been eliminated with these new applications, but Google's device is at least starting to look more appealing.