Google has pushed out a new update for Google Glass Explorers, the early testers and purchasers of the ambitious wearable tech. Most notable in the XE5 update is the addition of Google+ functionality in Glass, specifically allowing you to comment on, and +1 entries on Google's social network. You can also receive incoming Google Hangout invitations. Here's a full rundown of the changes:
- 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
As you can see, Google is steadily improving the Glass experience, even as it's just in the beta Explorer stage. With a year-or-so before it hits mass market, the company has a lot of time to refine the technology to get it ready for the meanstream. They'll need to, in order to quiet the jokes.
With this past weekends Saturday Night Live spoof, Google Glass has officially gone mainstream. As part of Weekend Update with Seth Meyers, Fred Armisen plays Tech Correspondent Randall Meeks, and tries to explain just how revolutionary Glass can be, all while trying to work within the constraints of poor speech recognition and awkward gestures. Yes, it's a spoof, and therefore, it is very exaggerated--but that's what makes it funny. We've embedded the Hulu clip below, after the break, for your enjoyment.
Despite Google Glass Explorer Edition units already being in the hands of developers, it appears that Google won't be ready to release Glass to the masses for another year or so. Originally the company had hopes to release it's wearable computing device by the end of 2013 for general consumers, but comments from Eric Schmidt in an interview on BBC Radio 4 says otherwise.
In response to a question asking when Glass will be available, Schmidt said, "there will be thousands of [Google Glass] in use by developers over the next months, and then based on their feedback, we'll make some product changes, and it's probably a year-ish away."
Obviously, we are in mid-April, so it sounds like the earliest we'll see Glass hit the market will be Spring 2014. A disappointment to many, we're sure, but a device like Glass needs to be done just right, and we're glad to see Google taking the time to get it right before releasing it. You can listen to the interview here--fast forward to the 4-minute mark to hear the Glass discussion.
More on Google Glass:
Google is giving out a few dozen Google Glass Explorer Edition units each day, rolling them out to developers as they are being made, rather than waiting until all are done to get them out at the same time. The result? A bunch of excited devs getting their hands on Glass, and giving their opinions on the future tech. We're already seen images of the Google Glass box contents, and now Brandon Allgood gives a great first impression on his Google+ account. Here's a snippet:
I wore Glass all day today. It was light and didn't bother me to do so. The battery truly lasted all day. I didn't however take long videos or hangout for very long. I am also not very popular on G+ and most of my email goes to my business account so I didn't mind the "ding" when I got an email or G+ comment. Most of my co-workers were excited about seeing Glass. Some were a little uncomfortable about it. Overall the reaction has been positive and people aren't bothered by me wearing it in meetings and such. I do live in Silicon Valley, so your experience may differ. I found that my habits will nee to be modified. For example I just need to tint my head back (which turns on the display) and I can see the time. No more looking for a clock or pulling out my phone. I also don't need to check my email on my phone or computer. I found myself from time to time hearing the chime and then pulling my email up on my computer and not Glass. I am over that now.
Hit the link below to head on over to Brandon's Google+ post for the rest. It's a good read on what it's like when you first get Glass, and the process of getting used to using it, the expected, and the unexpected.
Read More | Brandon Allgood Google+
Google Glass units are starting to land in the hands of developers who've signed up for the early Explorer Edition of the device, and images and videos are making their way to the Internet with the quickness. For example, Brandon Allgood posted an image of Glass unboxed to his Google+ page, showing everything it comes with. If you're curious, along with Glass, Explorers also get two different visor lenses (clear and shaded,) a carrying bag with a hard plastic area, AC adapter, and a USB cable for charging all in a Nexus-like box. Hard to believe that Google Glass is finally here, but the units are making their way out into the wild. Google says that it hopes to release Glass to the masses before the end of the year.
Read More | Google+
Google confirmed today that Google Glass units are rolling off the production line, with paying Explorer Edition members set to start receiving their devices in the coming weeks. The expectation was that the Google Glass Explorer Edition would begin to ship at the beginning of next month, and it appears that Google is right on track. The Explorer Edition of Google Glass is an early-access model that allows developers to get their hands on the device and API, readying Google Glass experiences for customers when Glass goes on sale publicly near the end of the year.
Read More | Google
Corning Gorilla Glass 3 was announced at CES, and we bring you a cool demo. Gorilla Glass appears in products like the iPhone, Android smartphones, and tablets. The demo shows you how Gorilla Glass 3 is thinner and lighter than the previous version from last year, while being a lot more durable and able to resist shattering under pressure and when dropped. It's already been announced that Gorilla Glass 3 will be included in the Samsung Galaxy S 4. Check it out!
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After Google released it's latest video highlighting Project Glass, many were left salivating for when they'd be able to buy a pair of their own. Google launched the #IfIHadGlass contest to allow a number of people the ability to be the first purchasers of the "Explorer" edition of the ambitious headset, but even though the price there is $1500, you need to be one of a selected few. Today, The Verge got info direct from Google that it hopes to get Google Glass on the market for all consumers to by before the end of 2013. The price? "Less than $1,500." Pretty vague, but we are still a full 10 months away from the end of the year, and there's still much work to be done.
What price are you hoping to see Google Glass launch at? Any predictions?
Read More | The Verge
Google wants early adopters to usher in the future of Google Glass. You know, those high tech Internet-connected glasses? The company is offering the opportunity for anyone to join in. A new competition outlined today by Google will give a lucky few the opportunity to have Google's Project Glass Explorer Edition before everyone else. That's a "neener neener" you can't pay for. Er, actually, you still have to pay for it. It'll cost $1500 if you win the priviledge of early access.
Google posted on its Glass site that it is looking for "bold, creative individuals who want to join us and be a part of shaping the future of Glass." In order to apply you need to use Google+ or Twitter to tell Google what you would do if you had glass, using the hashtag #ifihadglass.
Here are the details straight from Google:
Read More | Google
We were able to check in with Corning to get a look at Gorilla Glass 3, the upcoming product that should be hitting the next generation of major smartphones later this year. If you use a smartphone or tablet, you probably want glass that is super-strong and holds up to in-pocket scratches, and shocks like being dropped. No one wants a cracked screen, right? That's where Gorilla Glass 3 comes in. It's tougher in every area when compared to last year's Gorilla Glass 2, which means it can withstand more impact, is harder to scratch, and is just a better product all around. Check out our video demo after the jump to get a look at its impressive performance, and expect this to hit the iPhone 5S and major Android smartphones later this year.
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