Glassware

XE16 Release Notes


April 15h, 2014 meant a lot of things in the Google world. First was the opening day to register for Google I/O 2014. The applications are open from the April 15-18. Google I/O is the yearly conference held by Google in San Francisco. The second news update was Google allowed anyone to join the explorers program for one day. This does not mean that Glass is officially out, just allowed others to join the program without waiting for an invitation. Last but not least Google updated Glass to XE16! There are a lot of notes for this major update since XE12 back in December.

KitKat for Glass

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Google Glass is now running on the latest version of Android KitKat. This is the foundation of XE16 update for Glass. Just like most new devices on the market, KitKat brings a lot to the table. Many software features behind the scene allow huge improvements to Glass. KitKat also brings a lot of new changes for developers using the GDK and a minor tweak with the Mirror API.

Photo Bundles

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One of the biggest complaints by explorers in the community was how flooded our timeline becomes for those who take lots of photos, videos and vignettes. With this update, your Glass timeline will combine all your media taken by day and put it into a sub folder to free up space on your timeline.

Send a message with a photo

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With the ability to send messages to your contacts, XE16 adds a little spice to your messages. Now while sending a message, if you press the camera button the background of your message will be changed to the photo taken. Feel free to say nothing and let the picture do its work.

Smarter Home menu sorting

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A minor change but a pleasure to hear about is the new sorting of the menu item on Glass. Both voice menu and touch actions are now sorted by the choices you use most recently as well as the options used the most. If you enjoy taking pictures, “ok glass, take a picture” will be the first option on your menu.

Sharing to Google+ communities

 

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Released 2/28/2014 This update to glass was sent to users prior to XE16 but Google has decided to add it to its release notes. Now users have the ability to share content with their contacts and Google+ Communities. Keep your communities updated with pictures or videos that you would like to share, instead of needed to do it via Google Plus.

Play Music Instant Mixes

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If you enable Google Music from the Glassware tab in MyGlass and you have yet to subscribe to  All-Access, you now have the ability to still listen to music via Instant Mixes. Instead to your playlists through the touch menu, now from your home screen you can swipe forward and begin to listen to music.

Easier Wifi setup with Android

 

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With XE16, you now can easily connect your Glass to any WiFi network that your phone is connected to. Your networks are synched with your Google Account. This makes it very easy for you to connect to networks without the need of MyGlass page.

Networking Help

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Lets admit it, Glass is not the most stable when it comes to connections to networks. Prior to XE16 you would be left in the dust wondering why you currently do not have a network connection. Now if you get stuck without a connection Glass will offer some more information about your current networking status and offer some tips to reconnect. Tap on the internet connectivity card and select More info.

Feedback Through Glass

 

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Google truly listens to their users feedback when it comes to their products. Speaking with Glass Guides and discussions on the forums, explorers had a voice to change things about glass (as seen in XE12 and XE16). Google updated a feature in Glass that now allows users to send feedback to Google directly through Glass. Find the feedback card by tapping on the Device info card from the Settings bundle and being to share your thoughts.

A Goodbye For Now…

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In XE16, Google decided to fall back on two features and take them off of Glass for now. These features are Video Calls and Song Search. Glass is always changing and with this release they felt that both features were not used as often and taken down to free up space on Glass. This does not mean that they will not return. Google may try to enhance these features or possibly wait for someone to make Glassware for these applications.

Screencast

 

  tap glass

 

 

 

 

 

A small tweak for Screencast for glass has been added to XE16. Now if you begin to screencast through your mobile device, it will remind you to tap on your glass to begin casting what you see on Glass to others.

Changes to GDK and Mirror with XE16

As stated, Google Glass is now running on Android KitKat. This brings some changes to the GDK and Mirror for developing glassware. Find all the release-notes for XE16 here. (some images are from the XE16 release notes) By: Andrew Pritykin

How to Sideload and Uninstall Apps to Glass

One of the best things about being a Google Glass Explorer is the capability to try out the latest and greatest applications developed by the community. In this tutorial I will go over the steps to install and also how to uninstall applications to your Glass. Before this tutorial make sure to have Debug Mode Enabled and have the Android SDK Installed.

Glasscopter

In this tutorial we will be Side Loading (Installing via ADB) Glasscopter; a remake of a very popular web based helicopter survival game. Once you download the application titled “GlassCopter.apk” move the file to your ADB directory. For example my directory is C:\Users\FinalTrigger\Documents\Code\adt-bundle-windows-x86_64_20131030\sdk\platform-tools.

Now that we have our application in the same directory as ADB we can launch our terminal. You can do this either by changing your directory to your folder or perform a shortcut by pressing  Shift+Right Click and select “open command window here”.

Connect your glass to your computer with the original Glass USB cable. If you use any other USB cable you may run into detection issues. To check if your glass is connected type adb devices.

adbdevices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After inputing that command you should see your Glass ADB number and the status “device”. The next step is to install the application into glass using another ADB Command.

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To install any application to your glass input the following command: adb install [application.apk]. For this tutorial we will type: adb install GlassCopter.apk.

Now navigate through your glass and look for the application. In my demo I use voice commands to start the application. “Ok Glass”, “Fly a helicopter”.

flycopter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations you have successfully installed your first Glass Application via ADB!

Now this is fantastic, what if you want to uninstall your glass application. The commands to do this is not the exact opposite to install.

Navigate back to your terminal and type the following command: adb shell pm list packages.

adbshellpmlistpackages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a result your terminal will list all the application packages currently on your glass. At a first glass they all may look the same besides the end of each package. This is where you will look for your application package, or a package that resembles your installed application.

Now that we know what the package of our application is named we input the following and last command: adb uninstall [package name]. For this tutorial our command with package is adb uninstall mohammad.adib.glasscopter.

Congratulations you have successfully uninstalled your application from Glass. Now the process to sideload and uninstall this application is the same for all other Glass applications. So now you have the knowledge, go out there and try out the other great applications for Glass that currently cannot be installed by the MyGlass page.

Warning: Install applications at your own risk! Some applications may not work and/or cause your Glass to perform differently.

*FOR MAC USERS: Type [./] before any adb command. For example – [./adb devices]*

XE12 Release Notes

On December 17, 2013 Google released a major update for Glass right before the end of the year. Many of the updates that are released with XE12 were requests by many people in the community.

iOS app

xe12_1

MyGlass app is finally available on the App Store for many Glass explorers that use iOS devices. This now allows iOS devices access to many features that Android users have with Google Glass. Some features that this allows are:

  • Set up Glass
  • Get turn-by-turn directions
  • Add new contacts
  • Turn on Glassware

Google Play Music Menu

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XE12 now allows you to have more control of your music with the Listen action menu. You can now choose to listen to all of your playlists, and if you are subscribed to All Access you can also choose Im Feeling Lucky Radio to live dangerously when listing to music.

Screen Lock

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One of the most requested feature for Glass is a form of secruity. Google has answered this request with the Screen Lock feature that requires to match a pattern designed using swipe or tap combinations. The lock is turned on every time you deactivate your device or whenever the On-Head detection detects you have taken glass off.

Hangouts Glassware

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With the recent SMS/MMS integration update for Hangouts, you can now send and receive Hangout chats via Glass. This is a great feature for those who use Hangouts as their main SMS application instead of the default messaging application.

YouTube Glassware

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Another new addition to the list of official Glassware is the new YouTube application. Now when you take videos with your Glass you can share directly and upload it to your YouTube channel. Share your world through your eyes now with YouTube.

Wink

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For those who missed WINK due to the update in XE11 that broke this feature, it is now reborn in XE12. Wink is a great way to take pictures by simply…winking! This application was created by community developer Mike DiGiovanni. I find this feature to be very useful to take pictures if your hands are busy and to skips the voice command to take a picture. Do not forget to check out Jeremy Sciarappa overview video on Wink.

Smart Talk with Glass

Google has updated the glass communication with a larger sense of questions. Now you can say “Ok Glass, Google How far to Brooklyn” and Glass will tell your the distance from your current location. Another great feature is Glass can be your nutritionist! Try, “Ok Glass, Google How many calories in a banana” and it will give you your answer! This is a very nice addition to glass as I can see a lot more updates similar to this in the future.

No more “Sent Through Glass”

This was one of the most brought up topic in the community that most explorers disliked the most. When you would normally send a text message it would display at the bottom “Sent Through Glass” and many users did not like this feature at all. Google listened to everyone’s opinion and decided to remove it, but not completely. If you send an email the lovely quote will still show up near the bottom of your signature (which is not all that bad).

Guest Mode?

Google decided to remove Guest Mode in XE12 and not for a silly reason. Google stated in their  release notes

“Why’d we get rid of Guest Mode? Maintaining features in Guest Mode was an extra burden on developers. That’s time we’d rather spend getting out new features.”

I agree with this remark as I personally never really used Guest Mode and would rather screen cast glass on my phone and take control of glass if the user would mess up or not know what to do. For those who would still rather not have anyone messing with their account, Google still allows you to create a new demo account here.

Wall Street Journal

wsj

You can now read and listen to the news you need with the Wall Street Journal glassware application. WSJ will update your glassware with Breaking News, Politics, Technology, Business and more!

Weather Alert

weather

The new Weather Alert  glassware keeps you informed about approaching severe weather by sending updates to your glass in real time. You can choose from over 120 alerts to customize which alerts you would like to be alerted by.

Winkfeed

winkfeed

No this is not another feature to take a picture. Winkfeed lets you stay up to date with all of your favorite news sites and RSS feeds. You can choose which feesds Winkfeed will directly update to your glass and easily tap and save to Pocket.

GDK Updates

Last but not least, Google has made some changes to the GDK and Mirror API in the latest XE12 release. You can find all the detailed release notes here. If you have yet to develop any Glassware take a quick look at the GDK documentation.

XE12 has brought a lot of new changes to Google Glass. What makes this update very special is that Google has listened to many of the requests made by those who speak up and give their opinions on Google+ and on the Glass community page. Looking forward to see what future updates are to come!

(some images are from the XE12 release notes)

By: Andrew Pritykin

Enable Debug Mode on your Google Glass

To allow full control of your Google Glass you must first turn on Debug Mode. This will allow you to connect ADB to your Glass as well begin to code and utilize Glass to your machine. First make sure that you have your Glass turned on. Once it is fully powered on make sure you are at the “ok glass” screen.
glass1

Now swipe your finger toward the back of your head (Cards to the left) until you reach your “Settings” card.

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Tap the side of your Glass to enter the settings sub-menu. Swipe toward the front of your glass (Cards to the right) until your see “Device Info”.

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Tap on the this card to pull up additional information on the device. Swipe forward (Cards to the right) until you see “Turn on debug”

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Now tap your Glass and you will now have Debug Mode turned on! If you navigate back to the same card, it will say “Turn off debug” in case you want to disable debug mode at a later point. With Debug Mode enabled you now have the power to install third party Glassware, mirror Glass to your computer and other great development features. Keep in mind to only tinker with your Glass at your own risk . If you have any questions or concerns feel free to ask!

By: Andrew Pritykin

Google Glass Drivers – Windows

When developing applications for a device, it is very important to have proper drivers. Installing Google Glass drivers is not so easy as it should be. If you are running MAC OS or Linux you do not have to worry about installing Glass drivers. For the ones running Windows there are a few tweaks we must do to android_winusb.inf
Before you begin, verify that the Google USB Driver is installed through the Android SDK Manager under “Extra”.

SDK Google USB

 

Next step is only for Windows 8 users. We have to Disable Driver Signature Verification. This is the main issue that prevents Glass drivers to install properly in Windows.

Press Win + I to bring up the Settings side bar. Then press the Change PC Settings link.

changepc

When the left side panel opens, select “Update and Recovery”.

updateandrecover

Next click on the Recovery link on the left hand side.

recovery

On the right hand side, you will see “Advanced startup” and select the link to “Restart now”.

advanced

Once your computer fully reboots into Advanced settings, Select the “Troubleshoot” option.

troubleshoot

Once in the Advanced Tools section, select “Advanced options”.

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Next step you want to change the startup behavior in Windows, to do that select “Start Settings”

startup

Since this will change how Windows will boot, we have to restart the system one more time

restart

Last but not least, you will see a list of settings you can change. We are looking to select #7 “Disable driver signature enforcement”. To select that option we use our F-keys. Press “F7”. Your computer will now boot into Windows and the Driver Signature Verification will now be disabled.

Currently the Android SDK Manager does not have Glass drivers in its updates. So we have to manually add a snippet to the USB driver file. Navigate to your ADT bundle->sdk->extras->google->usb_driver and open android_winusb.inf in any text editor. In the file you will see two sections, [Google.NTx86] and [Google.NTamd64]. At the bottom of each section you will have to add the Google Glass snippet below:

;Google Glass
%SingleAdbInterface% = USB_Install, USB\VID_18D1&PID_4E11&REV_0216
%CompositeAdbInterface% = USB_Install, USB\VID_18D1&PID_4E11&MI_01
%SingleAdbInterface% = USB_Install, USB\VID_18D1&PID_9001&REV_0216
%CompositeAdbInterface% = USB_Install, USB\VID_18D1&PID_9001&MI_01

Once you have added this snippet to the bottom of each section in the android_winusb.inf file make sure you save all changes to the file. 

Now open Device Manager and right click on Glass1 under “Other devices” and select “Update Driver Software”. When prompted on how to search for driver software, select “Browse my computer for driver software” and navigate to ADT bundle->sdk->extras->google->usb_driver. Once the driver will be installing, you will be prompted by a Windows Security warning, this warning occurs because we have disabled driver signature verification.

warning

Select “Install this driver software anyway”. Once the installation is complete, your Google Glass will be recognized as an Android Composite ADB Interface.

To verify that our Google Glass is working now with the correct USB drivers we will use ADB – Android Debug Bridge to communicate with Glass. Navigate to ADT bundle->sdk->plaform-tools and in the folder you will see adb.exe which is what we need to test with Glass. Hold down SHIFT and right-click to select “Open command window here”. This will pull up a command window that is already pointed to the path we need to run ADB commands. The command we will run is adb devices. Once the command has finished starting, you will see “List of devices attached”. If all is done correctly you will see a device listed; if no device are listed then that means the installation of the drivers were not successful or incomplete.

 

(some Windows screenshots are from HowToGeek)

 

By: Andrew Pritykin