Google Glass receives over-the-air XE5 software update, brings new features

By on May 8, 2013, 3:30 PM
google, google glass, software update, xe5, glasshole

Google has been busy as of late adding new features for the small coterie of people who purchased the limited quantity of Google Glass Explorer Edition last month. Among them is an app that will allow users to send pictures directly from the Glass camera to Twitter, and although unofficial, there is also word of a third party Glass to Facebook app for sending photos to your Facebook page.

Considering the $1500 price tag, the feature list of the device has been rather slim. Many people have said they wouldn't be willing to pay more than $500 for the product, and until Glass is fully polished and has an expanded set of capabilities, it's going to be a hard sell for average people at that price.

Fortunately for early adopters, the XE5 software update was pushed out over-the-air today, bringing with it a number of useful functions including more integration with Google+ and a number of usability tweaks. Despite the good news, there have been some groans as well about the sync policy change that will now require that Glass is charging and connected to Wi-Fi for background uploads to occur.

The full list of changes as part of the XE5 update is as follows:

  • 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

In other Glass related news, a new term has been coined to describe those walking around in public with the device on their head, blissfully detached from the world around them. They are the "glassholes."

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