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.
It was just last week that the Google Glass team started pushing out eagerly awaited update to XE16. It was followed less than 24 hours later by a silent hotfix dubbed XRE15C. Unfortunately, these updates left many Glass owners with complaints about stability and an even shorter battery life than the device was already known for. Yesterday, in a bid to resolve some of these issues, the team began rolling out a new update to XE16.1.
The day Glass Explorers have been anxiously awaiting is finally here, and just in time for the open registration event! After a lengthy 4-month wait, XE16 has emerged and transcended its potential vaporware moniker to became a reality. As we've already learned, this latest installment includes a massive version bump to KitKat, photo bundles, photos in Hangouts, sorted voice commands, and much more.
You've seen the breathless coverage. You've read Google's hyperbolic marketing. You've seen countless demonstrations of why Google Glass is the future. And if you live in the United States, you can finally get one without jumping through limited access hoops or begging for an invite, if only for one day. Google's Glass Explorer program is open to US residents 18 and older from right now (9 AM Eastern, 6AM Pacific) until the end of the day on April 15th.
Google Glass is an extraordinary device. Like the Apple II, the Palm Pilot, and the first iPhone, Glass is a category-defining product that will quickly become the template for all other devices of its type going forward. It's the kind of device that will have a place in a computer history museum.
As a technology journalist, I often cover innovative devices, or exciting devices, or devices destined to sell millions, but how often, going in, can you say "This is a device of historical significance?" Wearable computing has arrived.
Wow. So when Glass was first making the rounds, we heard a few rumblings about a ridiculously fast update cycle; something like monthly updates. Sure enough, it seems like Google is delivering on that sort-of rumored promise:
Today, less than a month after the Glass unit left Google HQ, there's a new update: Version XE5. There's no public change log, but Phandroid says they emailed Google and got back the following list:
New features in XE5:
- Change to sync policy: require power + wifi for background uploads
- Crash reporting
- Incoming G+ notifications (direct shares, comments, +mentions), including ability to comment and +1
- Incoming Hangout notifications
- Transcription of queries & messages is now wicked-fast
- Long-press to search from anywhere in the UI (no longer just from off)
- International number dialing + SMS
- Hop animation on disallowed swipes in the UI
- New On-Head Detection calibration flow
- Show device Serial Number on Device Info card
- More reliable estimation of battery charge remaining
- New recipient-list mosaic
Google+ integration sounds awesome;
the only problem is it doesn't actually work right now.
My Google Glass unit has finally arrived. I've had a few days to play with Google's fancy new heads-up display, so it's probably time for some first impressions. A full review will be coming at some point.
One of the most striking things about Glass is just how well put together the whole package is. Everything about the design, from the hardware, to the typography, to the cool little whoosh noises it makes just oozes polish.
Despite not (yet) having Google Glass, I've managed to get a hold of a system dump, so it's time to have some fun for the day and see if Glass has any (more) hidden goodies for us. It'll also be fun to see just what makes Glass tick, and how the OS is laid out.
APK Teardown is usually at its best when I have a previous version to diff against and, you know, when I've actually used or at least seen the software in question.