Two weeks ago, the Google Glass Explorer program was shuttered. The entire future of Google Glass was questioned and existing owners of the smart glasses expressed concern over software support. Fortunately, developers will still be able to submit Glassware to make available on MyGlass.
The Google Glass team announced today that they are moving on from Google[x] labs and will become their own business unit. The new Google Glass unit will be assigned to Tony Fadell who currently heads up Nest Labs for Google. The Glass team itself will continue to be run by Ivy Ross who will now report to Fadell. As part of the new direction for Glass, Google will stop selling the Explorer Edition of Google Glass after January 19th, although some units will continue to be made available to developers and companies working on specific applications.
New reports indicate Google is in the process of closing down the Glass Basecamps that it setup to help new customers obtaining Google Glass. When Glass was first introduced, buyers were strongly urged to to pick up their new devices via one of the Basecamps. Those existed only in San Francisco, Los Angles and New York, meaning most people were in for a road trip. However, the closure of the Basecamps is not necessarily bad news for Glass fans.
Google has released an update for Google Glass taking it up to version XE21.0. The list of changes is not extensive, but users will likely welcome them. Although the issue of Glass owners wearing their devices for driving is not settled, users can access navigation information through the devices. With this update, Google enabled the inclusion of Waze information, like accidents, on the display when navigation is being shown.
Google Glass owners now have access to Pandora Internet Radio via their wearable device. Users get access to their existing stations or they can create a new station using voice commands. However, several other controls still require the use of the touchpad, including play/pause controls, favoriting tracks and dismissing tracks.
Google is rolling out an update to Google Glass this week that includes some improvements to the way users access their contacts. The update, version number XE20.1, incorporates these changes based on user feedback indicating they wanted a better, easier way to access and contact the people in their address books.
A little worried about what is to come in terms of weather when out and about? MyRadar Weather Radar for Google Glass can help with that. The new Glassware gives users an easy way to see a live forecast without having to take out a physical device and moving through an app. Specifically, it uses a user’s current location rather than having to pick and choose one. So if rain is coming, you can make sure to get some cover in order to protect the very expensive wearable.
To activate the Glassware, you just have to ask it to “Show the weather” and the radar is brought up. Immediately after, the live forecast is displayed. It is animated and shows just how dense the coming storm will be. The MyRadar Weather Radar Glassware is free, but it does not yet work nicely with the mobile app.
With Google Glass only being officially available in the U.K. for about a week, it has not taken long for acceptance to follow a path seen in the U.S. The latest example is the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association which issued this statement via their chief executive Phil Clapp, “customers will be requested not to wear these into cinema auditoriums, whether the film is playing or not.” Apparently the U.K. group wanted to one-up their counterparts at the Alamo Drafthouse which only asks Glass users to remove them when the trailers start.
Right before Google I/O starts tomorrow, Glass owners can toy with some new Glassware. There are 12 new services being added to be exact. The new Glassware services cover categories like personal fitness, sports, news, and cooking.
Hit the break for the full list with a description of each.
People around the world are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Google Glass in their respective countries. While the United States has been the go-to for a bit of time, Google has finally opened the Glass Explorer program to another nation. Starting today, people in the United Kingdom can join the Glass Explorer program for £1,000. Just as with the United States wearers, people in the United Kingdom can choose between five colors and get to tailor their experience if they need prescription lenses.
Hit the break for the introductory video.