Just ask our own Ron Amadeo and he'll tell you there are a myriad of reasons Google Glass isn't like other computing devices. It changes the way you interact with data and contextual information, but it's also not a true consumer product just yet. The Google Glass Explorer Edition was released with a number of caveats, including the stipulation that owners were forbidden from selling or loaning the device to someone else.
Ah, Google Glass. Though the venerable headset has a lot of potential, it has yet to become something people want to use all the time. If you're a social media addict, a news junkie, or a productivity pro, though, Google's heads-up computer just got a lot more compelling. Today at I/O, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, CNN, Elle, and Evernote pledged to support Glass by releasing official applications - "glassware," as Google calls them.
Heads up, Google, Glass is about to get some serious competition. Recon Instruments, a Canadian technology company known for athlete-focused heads-up display products, is looking to expand into general-purpose HUD technology. The company's prototype device - dubbed Jet - was officially unveiled today, and Recon Instruments hopes to release a retail product by the end of this year.
At first glance, the Jet looks like little more than a pair of sunglasses with an attached LCD screen; you won't be mistaking Recon Instrument's HUD for Google's anytime soon.
Have you heard? The popped collar is coming back. But that's sooo last year now that we have Google Glass. Presenting: 5 popped Google Glasses (combined current value of $7,500 or more like $8k if you count taxes), because having 4 popped Glasses on isn't nearly as cool.
Right part of the image credit: +Adib Towfiq
Left part of the image credit: Someone on the Interwebs, who the hell knows.
The big XE5 update just hit the interwebs, so that means it's time for a teardown! XE5 is still Android 4.0.4 based, but now we're up to build 4.0.4-665738; the old version was 4.0.4-625737.
The Glass Team is still extraordinarily messy; any new file usually has copies in a million different locations. Basically, everything ships in every APK.
So, to rectify this great injustice of the Internet (and because people keep asking me, personally) we've decided to hit you up with the Glass system dump. The Explorer program seems to be all about hacking and experimentation, so hopefully Google adopts an open policy towards posting Glass code.
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.
We are gearing up for I/O here at AP, and with the release of the I/O Sessions schedule, we've got an even clearer idea of what Google has in store for us.
Google I/O is a traditionally developer-oriented conference, but it's also always been a huge source of news about upcoming products. I/O is the one time of year when Googlers are allowed to show off their projects, so there's lots of news out there; you've just got to pay attention.
We always kind-of expect Glass to be Android based, but I was surprised to find just how Android based it was when I did a teardown of a Glass system dump. "Android based" is selling things a little short, Glass is Android, with just a few APKs piled on top. It reminds me a lot of Facebook home.
So, while I am still plugging away at my full review, I decided to take a bit of a break and see what happens when you try and run real Android apps on Glass.
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.