08
May
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Last Updated: June 4th, 2013

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:

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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.

07
May
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I know many of you have been longing for a way to filter the apps you've paid for into one convenient list. Neither the web nor the app Play Store currently allow this, despite years of outcry. Things are looking up, however, as I believe Google is finally paying attention.

You see, there is a little-known official channel with current top suggestions for Play Store-related features called Suggest a feature for Google Play.

07
May
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Let's have some fun.

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.

06
May
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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.

02
May
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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.

02
May
GoogleKeep

Google released the Google Keep note-taking service into the wild barely over a month ago, and now the Chrome app is here to make accessing the service as simple as using it. The app launches Google Keep in its own dedicated window, allowing you to take notes and manage to-do lists without having to search for them in a sea of tabs. There is also offline support, which could come in handy if the power goes out while you're brainstorming your next novel.

01
May
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As usual Google has updated monthly platform distribution numbers for Android in its developer dashboard. The numbers, based on devices accessing the Play Store over the last 14 days (ending May 1st), tell developers which versions of Android are most prevalent, and which are on the decline.

This month, as last month, we're seeing a decline in Gingerbread and a rise in Jelly Bean. Gingerbread has dropped from 39.8% to 38.5%, a 1.3% drop for those keeping tally at home.

30
Apr
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Several days ago, something happened that sent a not insignificant ripple through coverage of Google Glass: someone "jailbroke" the device.

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Saurik, who posted the above photo to Twitter, had modified Glass' software "while in the Bay Area after picking it up from Google's headquarters in Mountain View."

Understandably, this idea was a bit bedeviling to the press – ostensibly, Glass is a relatively limited platform for developers, who can only write apps using a web-based API, allowing software to be integrated with the device over the internet.

30
Apr
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Google just updated the sold out I/O 2013 conference website with the full schedule developers have been dying to see for months, ever since the initial announcement back in February. During the three days in mid-May (May 15-17), the company's engineers will host over 120 talks on such topics as:

  • Android
  • Chrome & Apps
  • Google+
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Maps
  • YouTube
  • Glass
  • Ads
  • Wallet
  • Knowledge & Structured Data
  • and other tech subjects

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On day 3, developers will also be able to participate in Code Labs on the topics of Android, Google+, Chrome & Apps, Google Cloud Platform, and YouTube.

30
Apr
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Google's official Glass YouTube channel released its first video today – a minute long introduction to Glass' most basic controls. The video is titled Glass How-to: Getting Started, which leads this writer to believe there may be more How-to's in the works.

Impressively well-produced and perfectly simple, the video discusses Glass' gestures – tapping, swiping forward, backward, and down, and gives a very digestible explanation of the device's time-based card interface.