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Last Updated: October 17th, 2013

Last weekend, I finally got my own Google Glass unit. Since then I've been trying to adapt to using it and all its features, but as always there are a few things no Explorer can do just yet. With the update to XE10, the list of hidden or unimplemented features has changed dramatically. We've rifled through the build and picked out the gems we think are most worthy of discussion, including as yet invisible abilities within GlassVoice (as pointed out by our tipster Zhuowei) including 3D modeling, a stopwatch, panorama capture, and much more. Let's take a look.

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GlassVoice.apk

The GlassVoice APK is where some of the most sensational tidbits are hiding. In res/raw, there's a long list of potential new features that aren't explicitly mentioned elsewhere, but which sound very exciting. GlassVoice houses the options that fall under the "ok Glass" menu. Some apps are able to change the immutable "ok Glass" list like Evernote, which adds a "Take Note" option for recording quick voice memos, or Path, which adds "Post Update." This leads me to believe that the following entries are specifically related either to functionality coming directly to Glass or features coming to Glass by way of new apps that will (eventually) be available in the Glassware Boutique and which will be able to hook in to these new commands.

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To spare you the eye strain, here's a complete list of the new entries in res/raw (excluding those that are already user-facing in XE10).

  • Add a Calendar Event
  • Call Me a Car
  • Capture a Panorama
  • Check Me In
  • Create a 3D Model
  • Find a Recipe
  • Learn a Song
  • Play a Game
  • Play Music
  • Record a Recipe
  • Remind Me To...
  • Show a Compass
  • Start a Bike Ride
  • Start a Round of Golf
  • Start a Run
  • Start a Stopwatch
  • Start a Timer
  • Translate This
  • Tune an Instrument

Some of these (like Add a Calendar Event, Capture a Panorama, and Play Music) make sense as features that would be baked right in to Glass, while others sound like new or additional functionality for Glassware.

The recipe-related commands could be expanded functionality for KitchMe, an app that currently allows Explorers to send recipes to Glass. This would theoretically allow users to pull recipes without going to KitchMe on their computer, and potentially record their own recipes.

Others hint at activity tracking, while still others hint at wilder possibilities like "Play a Game" or "Create a 3D Model." Games like Glass Frogger do already exist for Glass so (here's my wild speculation) perhaps this would just be a generic handler for playing games.

Music Inches Ever Nearer

There have been files relevant to Music in Glass for a while now. This build, though - besides adding a "Play Music" command - adds an actual layout for music items, and some other key ingredients for music control through Glass.

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Music_Card.xml includes album art, album name, track name, and artist's name. There were already drawables for play, next, previous, pause, and stop, but a new radio icon has also been added, indicating that perhaps control for Play Music's All Access radio channels might find its way onto Glass when Music shows up. XE10 also includes smali files for Music Metadata and "Internal Descriptors."

As hashed out by Ron Amadeo and Josh Brown last month, these assets will likely be used for remote music control, either playing music through Glass, or potentially using Glass to control music on your phone or tablet. The Play Music app already has an XDIUtils class with an XDIEnvironment() method, which of course only returns true if it's running on Glass, meaning there'd be an instance of Music on Glass as well. Essentially, the Music Card and the pre-existing Music Player files are the other piece to this puzzle. When this is implemented, it will likely use MyGlass as a liaison, with GlassHome sending commands to the app, which would then pass an intent to XDIPlayActivity, which would play the requested track.

Screenshot_2013-10-16-00-24-38 Screenshot_2013-10-16-00-24-43 Screenshot_2013-10-16-00-24-47

Existing Music iconography in action - screenshots from Josh Brown's GlassTunes

Gaze and Double Blink

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Glass' existing wink_for_photo icon

We still haven't seen official, Google-sanctioned eye control for Glass (perhaps due to daunting privacy concerns), but the Gaze folder is still steadily growing. This time around, they've added a "double blink" detector, potentially for control by blinking twice in rapid succession. This comes in addition to Glass' existing files relating to "wink for photo" functionality, similar to what's already offered by the Winky app.

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Roboto Condensed

While working on the mockups for one of our recent KitKat rumor posts, I kept wondering where the rest of the Roboto Condensed set was. The Bold Italic variant shows up in Google Now's first run process, but I hadn't seen any other versions manifested in the OS. Thankfully, the Glass team left it behind, though we still can't be sure where (or if) it will show up in the actual Glass UI.

That said, Condensed, Bold Condensed, Italic Condensed, and Bold Italic Condensed are accounted for, with the other Condensed weights missing. These files were actually in previous Glass builds, but I thought it would be appropriate to throw them into my first ever Glass teardown.

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The font files, as pointed out by a commenter below, have been available on Google Fonts for a while already. Still, it will be interesting to see if they eventually show up on Glass. Those interested can download them here.

Final Thoughts

That's all we've dug up of interest so far. Of course, if we uncover more goodies you can expect us to reveal them. With Glass development still moving along at full speed, there's no doubt we'll have even more to look at with next Month's update.

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Zargh

    Haven't those variants of Roboto Condensed been available on Google Fonts for a while now?

    http://www.google.com/fonts# ChoosePlace:select/Collection:Roboto+Condensed|Roboto+Slab|Roboto

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Looks like you're right, no need for our mirror in that case!

  • zhuowei

    19 new files..
    19.. 3x5 +4
    Half-Life 3 confirmed on Nexus 5 running Android 4.4.

    • Alex Lam

      This

  • Paul_Werner

    You:
    "Call Me a Car"

    Glass:
    "You're a Car"

    • Ishaan Rajiv

      One Siri is enough.

      • Adrian Zugaj

        Well, Google Now does this too. Ask it to "Make me a sandwich" (there are 2 possible responses it can give you)

        • Tomáš Petrík

          Hillarious!
          Especially the "puff".

  • MrNinjaPanda

    Can someone explain to me how does Glass knows when someone is blinking? Is there like a second camera directed at the eye? Or does it somehow uses the prism thingy?

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      There is an eye sensor on the inside edge of the touch pad, a black oval shape that can detect when you are wearing glass and what your eye is doing. Ron described it in his review here.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    For those saying translation already exists so it's nothing new ( http://www.google.com/glass/start/what-it-does/ ).

    Saying "ok glass, google say half a pound of cheese in chinese" is very different from "ok google, translate this." How different is unclear yet but it's possible that it would either activate optical recognition via the camera and translate what you're looking at or accept voice input.

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      I didn't mention this in the original post because I assumed it'd be clear that sending a Google query would be different from a direct translation request. In my wildest dreams, Translate This would use the camera, but it will likely just be a more direct speech function.

      • http://www.aviraldg.com/ Aviral Dasgupta

        Translate this using the camera actually makes sense - the Translate app for Android already does this (but you have to highlight the text you're interested in)

  • NoGlass

    Can someone explain why we keep getting Google Glass posts, a technology that is relevant to barely anyone?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Is this a serious question?

      • NoGlass

        Yes it is. When can we expect it to be available for the general public?

        • Michael Black

          It has been stated many times on many different sites from many different sources that we should expect a consumer model in 2014 sometime.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          I don't know, sometime in 2014. That doesn't make information about Glass features uninteresting. Most people don't have Glass (yet), but it doesn't mean they don't like reading about it, for when it does come out.

          Do you think information about self-driving cars is pointless too?

          • NoGlass

            I can't deny people are interested, judging by the downvotes of my original post. Maybe my question should have been 'why are you interested?'

            For me, I can't get excited about a product that may be released in 2014, with an unknown price point, and unknown distribution. To put that in perspective: in the UK I still can't buy a ChromeCast from Google. That's a $35 mass-production device.

            I didn't say Glass was pointless, because R&D and the product may end up to be useful. What I said was - at this time - it was irrelevant to me. I equally believe that's true of self-driving cars. That doesn't mean I'm saying,
            "stop working on that", it means, "call me when it's done".

            As someone that's worked in research, my belief is that in these cases technical issues are not the hurdle, it's commercialisation. If Google gave price points for Glass, or announced a deal for public use of self-driving cars, then THAT would be news.

          • Josh Michielsen

            "What I said was - at this time - it was irrelevant to me."

            Then don't read it. A lot of us are very interested in how Glass evolves while in explorer. No one is forcing you to read the post or even AP as a whole.

            Get off your high horse, seriously.

          • Jake Steinerman

            While Glass may not be available to you for another year (I am a Glass Explorer, so call me biased if you want), it still is interesting to see what Glass may be offering in the future. As someone who's worked in R&D you should appreciate that, as it allows you to brainstorm many types of applications for Glass way before it's release. When it comes time to purchase it, you could be well on your way towards putting together an app for it, or just simply knowing how to use it.

            What other product gave developers and consumers this kind of opportunity? None that I can think of.

    • Jake Steinerman

      Because it's going to be a technology that soon will be relevant to EVERYONE

      • NoGlass

        Same question I asked Artem: When can we expect it to be available for the general public?

  • hgfhkjfgkjg

    "Create a 3D Model"

    Any ideas what that is?

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Not sure yet. To my knowledge there's not an app for Glass yet that deals with 3D modeling, but we can't be sure what apps have been submitted to Google for review or who they may choose to partner with next.

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