Ever since the unexpected delay between XE12 and XE16, the Glass team has been in a near rapid-fire mode with the OTAs. There were a staggering 5 updates of XE16 in the month of April (6 if you count the 2-parter with XE 12.1) and 3 official versions of XE17 during the month of May. As it turns out, there may be a fourth, unreleased May update to Google's experimental wearable. Late last night, XDA Recognized Contributor TheManii posted a link to an update for XE17.3, provided to him by psymin. While there aren't many obvious changes, there's one very big one: "Notification Glance" is public!!!

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Back in April, the original version of a calibration walk-through was discussed in a teardown of the Settings apk in XE16. The version of the guide appearing in XE17.3 has changed a bit from the original version, but it no longer requires any trickery to activate it.

Not only is calibration available through the Settings menu, but the feature actually does something now. If the display is off when a notification chime is played, simply turning your eyes in the direction of the screen will turn it on and immediately switch to the latest notification. Unfortunately, this is just for notifications, which means you still can't turn the screen on by simply turning your eyes.

Despite being clearly labeled as an experimental feature, it seems to be incredibly accurate. In my short time testing it, I've yet to see any false positives or failures to detect a glance. It gives me hope that this will expand beyond responding only to notifications in the future.

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Install Instructions

Disclaimer: Android Police isn't responsible for any harm to your device - proceed at your own risk. Remember, this is an unannounced update that hasn't been officially distributed, therefore, it may suffer from unanticipated issues or interfere with future OTAs.

If you've got Glass, you might be excited to experiment with this on your own. XE17.3 is only available as a signed OTA (so far), so it has to be installed manually. Start by downloading the zip file from here (MD5: 9a361a254a234b52a006d838bcab01b1). If you've installed a custom recovery, feel free to copy the file onto Glass and flash it normally. If you're running stock, you'll have to use adb.

  1. Turn on Debug Mode in the Settings menu
  2. Connect Glass to a computer with ADB and run this command from a terminal:
    'adb reboot recovery'
  3. When the screen comes on again, double-click the camera button to display the recovery screen.
  4. This might be a little tricky the first time. The selector is currently on "reboot system now" option. Quickly tap the power button followed by the camera button. This should move the cursor down. Keep doing this until you reach "apply update from ADB."
  5. Once the selector is on the correct option, double-click the camera button. This will prompt you to run adb sideload from your computer.
  6. At the terminal, enter this command. Replace zipname with the name of the downloaded OTA.
    'adb sideload zipname'

The update takes about 7 minutes, perhaps a bit longer, and most of that time was spent uncomfortably staring at a "Patching system files..." message that gives no indication that anything is happening. Do not press any buttons on Glass or interfere with it in any way. The side of the device will probably get fairly warm, and that's normal, just don't leave it somewhere that the heat can't dissipate.

Once the update is finished installing, you can optionally wipe the cache, and then reboot. After the normal boot animation is finished, you'll see a screen informing you that Glass is updating, which also takes a few minutes. Your timeline will appear shortly afterward, and you're ready to go.

Update: Alternatively, you can pull the factory image from here and install it with the instructions from the Glass developer site. - Thanks hedsick

Since the version number for this update was obviously intended for a May distribution, we can probably assume that it will either be renamed to XE18 in the coming days or weeks, and there may be a few more bug fixes or features on the way. Whatever the case, it's exciting to see this glance detection coming to Glass!

Update 2: And it looks like the Glass team pulled the trigger. The factory image has been posted on the Glass Developers website and people are starting to receive XE17.3. - Thanks, Keith I Myers

Thanks, TheManii

Cody Toombs
Cody is a Software Engineer and Writer with a mildly overwhelming obsession with smartphones and the mobile world. If he’s been pulled away from the computer for any length of time, you might find him talking about cocktails and movies, sometimes resulting in the consumption of both.

  • LJ

    aint nobody got glass fo dat

    • Chris

      Nobody pays me in glass :(

  • hedsick
  • Mario E Hdez

    Strange, I don't see that option in my recovery. only similar options i have are "apply update from external storage" and "apply update from cache". Any suggestions?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      I can't really think of an explanation unless you've installed a custom recovery. Otherwise, I think everything from XE16 and above should match these directions (though, I can't be certain). The option to update over ADB is the final item in the list. Maybe try going one more step down, just to see if the cursor goes that far?

      • Mario E Hdez

        Yeah its strange. Recovery read XRV34. I have reboot system now>wipe data/factory reset>wipe cache partition>apply update from external storage>apply update from cache. The cursor doesnt go beyond update from cache. I figured there was more options below that but the cursor stops there. Dumbfounded.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

          Yeah, I've got no idea where to go from there. Maybe hit XDA and ask around there. I haven't done nearly enough hacking with Glass to be sure.

          • Mario E Hdez

            Exactly where I headed, thanks for the help.

  • Sam

    Does doing the above void the warranty on Glass? I see you're not calling 'adb unlock', which I thought you had to do to manually install (which also voids the warranty).

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      I feel like it's a vaguely gray area, because it was (at the time of the post) an unreleased update. Even if it was signed, it wasn't official (yet), which means it was still an unapproved activity, maybe... Like I said, unclear...

      With that said, it's already rolling out publically, so you might just want to wait a day or two and get it naturally. No risk necessary.

      • Sam

        I wasn't interested in actually trying to get the update ASAP - I'm trying to find the steps to manually install the update, as am considering going back to XE12 whenever I have to do demo days, and then going back to XE18.11 - what are the steps, and do you ever get a warning the first time that proceeding will void your warranty?

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

          If you're going to go backwards in versions, you'll have to unlock the bootloader and flash a full system image. I haven't unlocked mine, so I'm not sure if you get a warning about voiding the warranty, but I think you will.