Google Glass users are getting some helpful improvements in the latest software update for their devices, including the ability to access their personalized Google Calendar appointments and upcoming events while using Glass. Also added in the update is an easier first-time set-up process and simpler commands for using Glass to go to work or to get home.
The regular monthly Glass software update was unveiled in a Nov. 7 post on the Glass Google+ page.
"As you zig-zag about your day, you can now pull up your agenda by saying, 'ok glass, google,' followed by something like 'my agenda' or 'what am I doing in November?'" stated the post. "This will help you get there on time, keep track of what's next and avoid double-booking."
The improved set-up process for Glass means that users will have an easier time getting Glass connected to their mobile phones the first time they use them, according to the post. "A new tutorial shows you swiping for the first time and then takes you through the steps of connecting Glass to your phone. If you've already set up, you don't need to do it again. If you're still curious, you can see the new out-of-box experience by factory resetting your device."
The new commands to help users navigate to home or work are also included in the update, giving users the ability to give verbal commands such as "ok glass, get directions to home" or "get directions to work," according to the post. "It's almost as magical as three ruby-slippered heel clicks."
To use the new feature, users can tell Google Maps where they live and work and then they can refer to their locations as home or work while using Glass, according to Google. To get started, users should insert your home and work address in Google Maps or Google Now (iOS instructions) and then try it out on Glass, according to Google.
Also included in the Glass update is new a shortcut to allow users to be able to screencast, or show their video content taken with Glass on their Android mobile phone or tablet. Users can find the shortcut, which is a new "start screencast" command, in the notification drawer on their Android device, according to Google.
One other noteworthy change is included in the software update—the long press command on the Glass touchpad to initiate a search has been turned off by Google because many people were apparently activating it by mistake and having to backtrack. "For the easiest way to do a Google search on Glass, try tapping the touchpad three times slowly while the display is off or say 'ok glass, google ...' from the Home screen," according to Google.
In October, Google began a new Glass program that allows existing users to invite up to three friends to buy their own eyewear-mounted computers now, before they go on sale to the general public sometime later this year. The invite-a-friend program is being viewed by Google as a way to expand its Glass Explorer Program, which is the name used for the first test users of the innovative devices. Existing early Glass will also now have a one-time chance to trade in their current Glass devices for the latest model, which includes improvements and updates.
Google Glass has been a topic of conversation among techies since news of it first arrived in 2012. The first Google Glass units began shipping in April 2013 to developers who signed up at the June 2012 Google I/O conference to buy an early set for $1,500 for testing and development, at which it was the hit of the conference. Google also then began shipping Glass units to lucky users who were selected in the #ifihadglass contest for the opportunity to buy their own early versions of Glass.
Each Google Glass device includes adjustable nose pads and a high-resolution display that Google said is the equivalent of a 25-inch high-definition screen from 8 feet away. The glasses also feature a built-in camera that takes 5-megapixel photos and video at 720p. Audio is delivered to wearers through their bones, using bone-conduction transducers.