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

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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

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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

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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

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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