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.
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.
As promised, the companion app to Google Glass, MyGlass, got a big update today. The bump from version 2.2 to 3.0 allows for sharing from Maps directly to Glass, but is otherwise purely aesthetic. Users will enjoy a slick new interface centered around a slide-out menu, which breaks out the Glassware Gallery, your active glassware, device info, and selected contacts into separate views.
This arrangement is infinitely more friendly than the previous interface, and glassware is now displayed more richly, with example screenshots in each listing along with a brief description and rundown of permissions.
Minuum shrinks all the letters of a keyboard down into a single row of text. This is potentially convenient for smartphones, but the learning curve alone is enough to push some users back to alternative options. Yet for smaller devices where a full-size keyboard is downright unwieldy, Minuum is uniquely situated to step in and scratch that itch. The app has now come to Google Glass, but unfortunately, this looks like one of those itches you don't want to scratch in public.