Yet another Google Glass update means yet another Google Glass Teardown - we're now up to version "XE8." Despite Glass being a complete nightmare to do diff work on (every file is in every APK), and the highly experimental nature of Glass (stuff gets removed all the time), Glass teardowns have actually had a pretty good hit rate.

Google Hangouts Chat


Finally. A feature I've wanted since the first day I opened Google Glass: Google Hangouts support. We've known about plans to bring Hangouts to Glass for a while, but now we can actually see some code for it.

"GTalkService" is what will keep you logged in to hangouts all the time, "Presence" is the "available/busy/offline" logic, and all of the "GroupChat" stuff means this will support multi-person chats, too. This is the kind of stuff Glass desperately needs - huge leaps in functionality.

Lock Screen Lab

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One of the new lab features that actually works is humorously called "KP_OUT." It's a semi-functional lock screen that works a lot like pattern unlock on an Android phone.

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There are 4 rows of dots, and 3 positions for each dot. A swipe forward on the touchpad moves the dot right, a swipe backwards moves it left, and a tap makes a dot show up in the center. Just like you would expect, after setting a pattern, this will show up as an interstitial screen when you turn Glass on. The neat part is that it seems to hook into head detection: once you've unlocked it, it will stay unlocked until you take it off your head.

A whopping 81 possible combinations doesn't really seem secure and, to make matters worse, currently there's no time lockout or max amount of tries. If it takes you 1.5 seconds to try a single combination, you're looking at a crack time of about 2 minutes. This is still just a lab feature for a reason though - it's not done yet.

A Shout Out


Speaking of labs, the Glass Team always likes to sneak in some silly labs entries. There's been everything from "PUPPIES_IN_PJS" to "HO_HO_HO" and "OMELETTE_DU_FROMAGE." This month's silly lab feature is probably my favorite, though; it's a shout out to all the tinkerers out there: "I_TORE_DOWN_THIS_APK_AND_ALL_I_GOT_WAS_THIS_STUPID_LAB."

Very cute. We love you too, Glass Team. <3

Ron Amadeo
Ron loves everything related to technology, design, and Google. He always wants to talk about "the big picture" and what's next for Android, and he's not afraid to get knee-deep in an APK for some details. Expect a good eye for detail, lots of research, and some lamenting about how something isn't designed well enough.
  • silver_arrow

    I wonder who they were targeting that too...

    • jayray78

      I'll answer your question with a question of my own...who else do you know that tears apart APKs and then blogs about them?

  • Herman

    And that, my friends, is why I love Google.

    • Matthew Fry

      This is why I love the developers at Google. There are parts of Google I don't like. The devs are awesome though.

  • mlj11

    Bet you can't get some ascii art in there, Googlers!

    * * *

    Somewhere, beyond the furthest reaches of the internets, over the information superhighways and far removed from the disguised Skynet data centres, a muffled voice can be heard from behind a screen, "Hmph. Challenge accepted..."

    Or was that just my imagination?

  • Muhammad Zohaib Rizwani

    Ron, you do know apart from you guys at AP I don't think anyone does teardowns, at least I don't know any. It's at you :P

  • angel_spain

    The next label is going to have your name Ron.

  • zhuowei

    Shirt! what do I do, what do I do... OK, Google, I admit defeat. I will stop making Xenologer conversions. *shakes white flag*

  • zhuowei

    Also, HO_HO_HO has an actual function - it is a feature to shut down Hangouts' video when bandwidth is scarce. I was disappointed - I was expecting a Hangouts on Air with Santa.

  • Koryu

    I like the smiley in front of the message... ;->