Just days after the Explorer Edition of Google's first wearable device made its way onto the US Play Store, the Glass development team is starting to roll out yet another in a long history of updates. This time we're looking at XE21.0, which appears to be on the smaller side based on the changelog. Only two noteworthy details made it onto the list: faster updates for Google Now cards and accident indicators during Navigation, provided by Waze.
You may remember Google's launch of the Glass explorer program in the UK, which saw the device listed in the Play Store just before I/O. This seemed a little odd at the time, given that the Glass shopping experience in the US has always had its own dedicated checkout process and interface, separate from the Play Store, but bringing the hardware to Google's main store makes sense in the long-run, as the eyeball computer tiptoes toward an inevitable final launch.
Google's official Glassware selection has a new member today - Pandora. As Carl Edwards explains in a post to the official Pandora blog, the addition of Pandora to the Glassware page of Google's MyGlass interface is the result of Pandora's semi-annual 72-hour hackathon. "It was such a hit," the blog says, "that we decided to show it to Google."
In keeping with Google's UX vision for Glass, the Pandora app is exceedingly simple.
One complaint many Glass users have voiced since the Explorer Program began is that Glass has very limited contact management capabilities. Users could add contacts in the MyGlass interface, but those manually added contacts were the only ones a user could correspond with using Google's eye-mounted computer.
The Glass team is fixing that - and a number of other things - in an update to XE20.1, announced today. The update will allow Glass to see all a user's contacts, with starred contacts showing up for quick voice access.
The Google Glass developers are at it again; they keep coming up with new ways to burn through that tiny battery. Today, the Glass Development Kit changelog was updated to detail the addition of USB webcam support for developers looking to add access to views outside of the standard forward-facing perspective. Webcams must be attached via On-The-Go (OTG) cable, and Plug 'n Play isn't supported, so Glass must be rebooted before the attached camera can be recognized.
Like other Google I/O attendees, I picked up an Android Wear device at the conference. I went with the LG G Watch. What follows is not really a review so much as my experiences and thoughts about Wear thus far, having lived with it literally every day since picking it up. I'll include some of my opinions on the platform (ignoring for now the hardware), and what I think might be relevant insights and comparisons to Google's other efforts (like Glass).
Admit it, Glass owners, half the reason you're going to Google I/O is that you want to chat with other Glass people about how cool Glass is (hashtag throughglass). Google has given you plenty to chat about: they've just thrown a dozen new apps into the Glassware gallery, all of them from notable sources. Probably the most interesting is Livestream, the official app for Livestream.com, which was previously available as a side-load install.
Glass Explorers have faced an unyielding torrent of discrimination from their clear-faced peers ever since Google first introduced the device to its first batch of eager early adopters. Wearers have been banned from certain restaurants and public areas, with people expressing concern over the ease with which Glass allows people to record others. With such a glaring civil rights issue taking place in modern day America, The Daily Show sent correspondent Jason Jones to investigate for its June 12th episode.
Google Glass, having recently received an update to version XE17.31, is making the leap straight up to version 18.1. The update will coincide with an update to the MyGlass app (coming "later this week," with the iOS app getting an update at an undisclosed time), and brings a few nifty new features.
First up, the MyGlass app for Android - when explorers take a photo through Glass, that photo will be instantly shared to the MyGlass app, where users can add filters or otherwise edit the photos before sharing them with the world.
One big complaint regarding Glass is that the accessory simply looks too weird for public use. Google started to address this by introducing a small selection of prescription frames and shades earlier this year, and now the company is ready to partner with fashion designer Diane von Furstenburg to provide more in a new DVF | Made for Glass collection.
The set will provide five new frames and eight new shades, giving Glass owners a few more ways to be fashionable while wearing their expensive accessory.