April 17, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
You may recall that early yesterday, we talked about the XE16 update to Google Glass, which finally brought Android 4.4.2 KitKat to the tech world’s most controversial piece of wearable computing. For those who don’t remember, XE16 brought several new additions such as Photo Bundles, Photos in Hangouts, and Voice Command Sorting.
At the time that the update first rolled out, we noted that although direct OTA links were available for your updating pleasure, there were no factory restore images to go along with the update. This was then a rather roundabout way of reaching the XE16 build, as users on older software who wanted to force the OTA would have to load XE12, and then receive or sideload the incremental OTAs for XE12.1 and XE16. We also noted that because only OTA links had been captured, there was no officially endorsed way of obtaining root access on XE16.
Now, however, Google has updated its Glass Factory Images page with both the XE16 firmware itself, as well as a rooted boot image—both of which can be installed via Fastboot. Curiously, however, this update comes in at XRV15C, as opposed to yesterday’s XRV15B. Luckily, a minor incremental OTA was also made available for those who received yesterday’s build.
To get started, simply head over to the Google Glass Factory Images page and download the XE16 build and the associated rooted bootloader directly. And users looking for every known firmware for the device should check out XDA Recognized Contributor TheManii‘s stock firmware thread.
April 16, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Earlier today, for one day only, Google opened up Glass Explorer Edition purchases to interested parties living in the US. Of course, you still have to plunk down $1500 in order to get your hands on this sleek piece of beta wearable tech. But for those looking to be on the bleeding edge, the investment is well worth it.
Back in December, Google Glass was updated to firmware version XE12. This brought many new features such as wink pics, Hangouts and YouTube Glassware, improved Play Music support, and improved Google Search cards. Now, Glass has received the long awaited update to XE16, which among other things, brings the device up to Android 4.4 KitKat.
Kit Kat for Glass – As most of you know, we’ve been working to upgrade Glass to Kit Kat. This brings improved battery life and makes Glass more reliable and easier to update in the future. And now that Glass runs Android KitKat, developers can write Glassware using the latest Android SDK goodness, along with new features from our GDK.
Photo bundles - Explorers have been telling us that when they’re taking lots of photos, it can sometimes clutter up the timeline. Now your photos, videos and vignettes will be organized into bundles that are easier to swipe through when you’re flipping through your timeline.
Photos in Hangouts – Let’s say you’re in a Hangout chat and you want to share a photo. Now you can use the camera button to take a photo and then share it with the Hangout chat you’re in. If you already took the perfect photo, you can still tap to “Send” it in a Hangout chat.
Sending feedback - You may already be adding your feature requests for Glass to the Wishlist board. Now when you’re on the go and think of a suggestion or notice that Glass is doing something unusual, you can send your feedback from Glass. Just tap on the device info card in Settings and tell us what’s on your mind. Of course, you can still send us an email or post in the Explorers Community.
Voice command sorting – We all use Glass a little differently so we probably all have our most used “ok glass” voice command. Now your “ok glass” commands will be sorted by recency and frequency so you can get to the ones you use most even faster.
Play Music Instant Mixes - If you’re not an All Access Subscriber who’s using the Google Music Glassware, you can now listen to Instant Mixes in addition to your playlists.
Easier Wifi setup with Android - If you’ve enabled backup on your Android phone or tablet your Wifi information will sync across all your Android devices. This means that Glass will automatically connect to the networks you’ve already set up on your Android devices. No manual Wifi setup required for those known Wifi networks.
- Networking help - It’s frustrating when you lose your connection and aren’t sure why. Now if you lose your connection, Glass will let you know your status and give you some tips to reconnect.
The update is currently rolling out in the form of an incremental OTA from XE12.1 to XE16. Unfortunately as was the case with XE12, the XE16 factory restore and rooted bootloader images have not been posted to the official Glass Developers firmware page. Luckily, the XE12 images are available, and XDA Recognized Contributor TheManii was kind enough to capture the OTA update links from XE12 to XE12.1 and from XE12.1 to XE16.
While the lack of the pre-rooted bootloader images unfortunately means that there is not yet an official root solution for the XE12.1 and XE16 updates, you can at least install the latest XE16 firmware on your Glass even if your device has not yet received the OTA.
You can get in on the latest firmware a bit early by visiting the stock firmware thread and downloading the relevant incremental OTAs. You can also head over to Google to learn more about XE16’s consumer-facing and developer-facing features.
January 16, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
OK, so it finally happened. Google wants to take wearable tech to the next level with a set of smart contact lenses. Now keep your pants on for a second—this has nothing to do with their first foray into wearable tech, Google Glass. Rather, they are now testing a “smart contact lens” that allows users to more easily keep track of their glucose levels when managing diabeetus.
These new glasses work by embedding a tiny wireless transmitter and a miniature glucose sensor in between two layers of a soft contact lens. Prototypes currently undergoing testing are able to obtain measurements at a rate of one reading per second. And given this impressive temporal resolution, the system could potentially serve as a warning system for those with fluctuating blood glucose levels.
While Google X already has working prototypes and is in talks with the FDA, there is apparently still much work to be done, and as such, they are looking for technology partners for app development and contact lens integration. Furthermore, we can’t help but imagine the seemingly endless regulatory hurdles that must be crossed first. Nevertheless, this is quite exciting!
Are you ready for such intimate wearable technology? Head over to the source link to learn more, and don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments below!
January 6, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
In late 2011, Epson released the Moverio BT-100 Wearable Display. While the device was quite an innovation at the time, it was just a bit too rough around the edges to gain any appreciable amount of popularity. Then, Google Glass happened. And with it, wearable computing was thrust directly into the limelight.
Now, Epson has announced the successor to its two-year-old Moverio BT-100, the oh-so-creatively titled Moverio BT-200. Given its pricing and featureset, it seems to have one clear target: Google Glass. Although many still question whether a head-mounted device with a camera is socially acceptable at this time, Epson thinks that it can make an impact with this update to the Moverio line.
In comparison to Google Glass, it is aggressively priced at just under half the cost of the current XE model. Furthermore, it features true binocular optics, which overlay real-time content placed over the center of your field of view. This in turn allows for more powerful augmented reality applications, at the potential expense of increased distraction and vision obstruction.
Using Epson’s optical talents from years of work on projector lenses, the BT-200 offers a 23-degree field-of-view, with 360-degree panoramas possible through the use of head tracking. The semi-transparent screen’s resolution is a bit higher than Google Glass, at qHD (960×540), and the additional sensors will make for a potentially more immersive experience than what is currently possible on Glass. As such, many initial game demos are available already. The Moverio BT-200 will run on Android 4.0 (presumably very heavily skinned).
The Moverio BT-200 will most likely be available in March and will cost just under $700. Those looking to pre-order can do so here. And if you’d simply like to take a look at the Press Release, you can do so here. Are you interested in the Moverio BT-200, or would you much prefer Google Glass? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
December 31, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The end of 2013 is here, and it has been an exciting year in the mobile device world. XDA Developer TV Producer Jordan combed through all the headlines, hardware releases, and device developments that happened this year and identified the Top Five Technology Trends for 2013.
Everything from expanded mobile OS offerings to great independant mobile device choices, the rapid expansion of wearable technology and Google Glass, and much more. So take a moment to check out today’s video and see the top 5 trends in the mobile industry this year. Let us know if we got it right or why we are dead wrong in the comments below!
December 27, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
You can dual boot Ubuntu and Android on your device with a developer preview release! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement that the official CyanogenMod for the Oppo N1 is available, as are the factory images and source code. AOKP KitKat 4.4.2 nightlies are also available for 10 device! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviewed Google Glass XE 2.0, Jordan spread some Android Christmas cheer, and TK showed us how to side load apps on our Google Glass. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
December 26, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Just two days ago, XDA Developer TV Producer TK got Google Glass. He took the time to review it, and now he’s showing you some other tricks. TK starts of by showing you how simple it is to side load APKs on Google Glass using ADB. Then, TK shows off a simple Glass game you can play by tilting your head.
XDA Senior Member Mohammad_Adib offers a quick, easy, and somewhat addictive game for the Google Glass unit. In the second part of this video, XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviews GlassCopter. TK shows off the application and gives his thoughts, so check out this app review and tutorial.
Google Glass XE 2.0 is the refresh of last year’s XE Glass hardware. The main difference here is that you can now use a micro USB mono headset to listen to your music and make or receive calls on the device. Google started to offer replacements to first gen owners so they can enjoy the updated units. Also, a select few had the opportunity to buy an additional set, a change from last year’s one unit per person.
Unfortunately, the battery life is still the same so you will get about a day of light use and 5 hours of normal usage. So if you wish to use the device a lot, you will need to keep a charger with you. Hopefully, the mass market release of Glass will bring better battery life.
December 21, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
A few days ago, we talked about how Google Glass update to XE12 brought a considerable amount of new functionality to the company’s first foray into wearable computing. In addition to new and improved Glassware for YouTube and Hangouts, a lock screen, new search cards, iOS support, and better Google Play Music support, the update also brought the ability to take pictures by simply winking.
Now, Google has released the factory restore image for the XE12 update for the device. And just like with previous updates, they have also provided a pre-rooted bootloader, which can be applied through a few very simple fastboot commands.
It’s great to see that Google has released the factory restore images shortly after the official XE12 update’s release. If you’re a Glass owner or if you simply want to open up the images, head over to the source link below to get started.
December 20, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4.2 KitKat is now available for the Moto G and the source code has been released for the Moto X running KitKat. That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement that Windows Phone 8.1 will have “Cortana” Voice Assistant and the latest Google Glass update brings wink pics and more. That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video for App Ops, Jordan reviewed the Oppo N1, and TK gave us an Android App Review of Redirect. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
December 17, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
As wearable computing becomes more and more useful, it is finally starting to take off. While the vast majority of wearable computing devices come in the form of various different smartwatches, an increasing number of users are now Google Glass Explorers. Luckily for them, today’s update to XE12 brings quite a bit of functionality, making the device significantly more useful before.
The XE12 update brings a healthy dose of new features. Some of the highlights are as follows:
Along with the new features, Google has given Glass lock screen support. This is activated whenever you deactivate Glass or take it off your head (provided that on-head detection is enabled). Along with the lock screen support, Guest mode has now been removed, as it has proven to be too difficult to maintain.
Glass Explorers (and those who wish to become Glass Explorers) can read up on the update by visiting the source link below. Are you a fan of the new functionality? What about the loss of Guest Mode? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to visit our Google Glass forum!
December 10, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Not too many people own Google Glass just yet, but the number is growing thanks to an open invite request signup page. And alongside the greater adoption, comes a greater number of cool things you can do with Glass.
We recently covered the release of the GDK, which helps developers create better apps for Glass than what was possible with the cloud-based Mirror API. While the GDK release enables a new class of more immersive local apps, that’s not to say that useful and innovative apps can’t be built with Mirror API.
Now thanks to an unofficial WordPress app by PR firm Webber Shandwick, you can post to any WordPress blog directly from Glass. The app naturally has a few limitations, and chief among them is the need for voice dictation for text entry. While functional, we can’t imagine too many people posting long essays #throughglass. In addition to text, users can also attach photos and videos into their blog posts.
To get started, head over to the installation page for full instructions. Installation is a bit tedious, as it has you install a WordPress plugin, set up the Mirror API (if you haven’t already), and more. Luckily, there are plenty of screenshots to guide you along the way. Developers looking to learn how it was done should head over to the project’s GitHub.
November 21, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Up until very recently, applications designed for Google Glass faced several key limitations when using the RESTful cloud-based Mirror API. Chief among them, was the requirement for Internet connectivity. Well, Google intends to change this with various new APIs introduced with the Google Glass Development Kit, or GDK for short. These allow offline apps that have real time user responsiveness, apps that work without network access, and apps that can make use of deeper access to hardware features.
The GDK serves as an add-on to the Android SDK that allows you to create applications designed for Google Glass (dubbed Glassware). The GDK can be installed in preview form, directly from the Android SDK install manager. As such, building Glassware involves much of the same procedures as building a standard Android application. However, applications built using the GDK add-on will have access to voice, can create persistent cards, and can detect gestures.
Alongside the GDK preview release, Google also showed off five new apps (Strava, Allthecooks Recipes, Word Lens, GLU, and GolfSight) that make use of the new features in the GDK. These are featured on the MyGlass page.
More information on the GDK can also be found in the GDK Sneak Peek presentation below: