Glass camera app adds much-requested preview framing

Chris Davies - Dec 9, 2013
Glass camera app adds much-requested preview framing

A new app for Google Glass addresses one of the most common complaints for Explorers using it as a wearable camera: the fact that you don’t see what you’ve photographed until after its happened. Glass, in its standard form, only displays the results from the camera after the photo has been taken: while video recording gets a live preview in the eyepiece, still photos only pop up once they’ve been taken, making for issues at times with framing. Now, thanks to a new beta app from Paul O’Brien, there’s another option.

O’Brien’s Glassware doesn’t replace the standard camera functionality, which is still accessed either by a voice command or by pressing the physical shortcut button on the top of the wearable’s frame. Instead, it adds a second option into the menu, for “Open Camera”.

That brings up a live preview of what the camera is looking at, helping with framing, while pressing the button takes the shot. It’s likely to add an extra hit on battery life, though it could mean the difference between getting the perfect photo and having to take a half-dozen before you frame things by trial & error.


Although Glass is not solely a wearable camera, much of the attention on the headset since its launch has focused on its photographic abilities. That’s been attention both positive and negative, with some concerned at the privacy implications, while others have focused on making camera use even more available with Glassware like “Winky” that captures images simply when the user winks.

Despite the sometimes shaky usability, as we found out in the wild with Glass, it’s actually capable of some impressive photography. That’s not only down to the quality of its 5-megapixel sensor, but the immediacy of being able to snap a shot rather than having to pull out a phone or dedicated camera.

O’Brien’s app is, he admits, “rough” right now, and you’ll need to sideload it to Glass via ADB from the APK he’s released. Still, it’s something many Glass Explorers have been asking for, and so we can see interest being relatively high.

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