Google Glass to Get KitKat Update for Battery Life Boost, Loses Video Calling
Google announced plans to roll out XE16 software update for its Glass wearable devices later this week that will bring Android KitKat, improved battery life and myriad of new features including photo bundles, photos in Hangouts, voice commands sorting, and more.
While the update features a number of interesting new enhancements, it frustrated a number of Glass Explorers by dropping a valuable feature: Video calling.
XE16 is the first major Glass software upgrade since December 2013, when Glass was updated to firmware version XE12. Here’s a quick breakdown of the new usability improvements that will come along the XE16 build of KitKat for Glass:
- The improved battery life is the biggest change made possible through the new KitKat for Glass update as it optimizes tasks for reduced battery consumption. The Android update also allows developers to write Glassware using the latest Android SDK.
- Now, you can view more pictures at a single glance with the new Photo Bundles feature. It organizes your photos, videos and vignettes into bundles making it easier for you to swipe through them.
- You can also reply to Hangouts messages with a photo by sharing it with the Hangout chat you’re in.
- The voice command functionality of the glass has also been updated, so you’ll have your most used voice commands on the display. Now your “ok glass” commands will bring a list of your most recent and frequent voice commands making this sorting process even more faster.
- Sending feedback to Google is a lot easier and quicker than ever. Now, if you’re on go and notice something unusual with the Glass, just tap on the device info card in Settings and send your feedback from Glass.
While Google adds all these minor but notable features, the company decided to slash video calling feature from Glass for now. According to the search giant, only 10 percent of Glass owners use this feature and many users told Google directly that the feature wasn’t living up to its high standards.
However, there is also a gist of the angry comments on Google’s related Google+ post where many users expressed their disappointment with Google’s decision.
The Glass maker plans to relaunch the feature once the video streaming experience gets better. So, Glass Explorers missing the feature should keep an eye on the Glassware app store as there are alternate apps in the works.
The first version of Google Glass has sold out after public sale on Tuesday. The Glass was available only in five colors for a whopping $1,500. The package included a cable and charger, adjustable nose pads, single earbud, carrying pouch and a frame of your choice.
The glasses feature a built-in 5-megapixel camera that offers video quality of 720p and a high-resolution display that is equivalent to a 25-inch high-definition screen from 8 feet away.
Gohar is the lead editor at TechFrag. He has a wide range of interests when it comes to tech but he's currently spending a big chunk of his time writing about privacy, cyber security, and anything policy related.