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.
A minor OTA update is now rolling out to the small population of people who happen to own Google Glass. This release, XE19.1, brings improved network connectivity, so Glass should now do a better job of handling spotty network issues when issuing voice commands. This is good considering how much Google's voice search relies on the web.
XE19.1 also brings in a slight visual revamp, as Glass now has a cleaner look for voice actions.
I know, it's I/O day and there are a lot more exciting things going on than OTA updates to Google Glass, but hey, the news is the news, right? The XE18.3 build should be rolling out to explorers now, and it adds a couple changes that make Glass a bit easier to use. First, pairing has been simplified with a walkthrough for the setup process. Second, Glass now has a user-accessible recovery mode.
Google has made small tweaks to Glass throughout the Explorer program, but today the company has announced a real spec bump. All Glass units shipping from now on will have 2GB of RAM instead of 1GB. There will also be a new viewfinder mode when taking pictures and some more cards. It's not all sunshine and lollipops, though. Current Glass Explorers should take a deep breath – Google won't be swapping out the old version for the new one.
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.
Update 2: And now it's showing up for purchase on the UK Play Store - 1000 of your pounds will buy an Explorer Edition Glass in one of five colors. The same free frame / shade deal going on in the US is also available for the UK version. (Thanks, Ben!) Here's the official UK landing page for Glass, too.
Accessories seem to line up, as well - all the shades, frames, the stereo and mono earbuds, carrying case, pouch, and spare charger are all available for purchase.
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.