It’s the eve of open Glass sales day, and Google has raised the stakes with news of a big update for the wearable due later this week that will bring Android KitKat among other improvements. The new Glass OS, which Google says will be pushed out over the next few days, brings the latest version of Android along with the promise of improved battery life and stability, as well as the potential for more Glassware apps.
That’s because developers will be able to use the newest Android SDK to write Glass apps, with updates to the Glassware GDK also promised.
Meanwhile, Glass will also get a more user-friendly interface, with photo sets – including photos, videos, and vignettes – organized into bundles according to the day they were captured. It’s not the only photo improvement, too, with Glass also adding photo replies in Hangouts.
Choosing “reply” in a Hangouts chat will allow Glass to take a photo and send it straight over.
The speech command UI will be tweaked too, organizing “Ok Glass” instructions by which were used most recently and most frequently. That means your most common requests won’t be buried at the bottom of the list, as they can be now by the fixed-ordered menu.
There’s also a new way to send feedback, accessed by tapping the device info card in the Glass settings carousel.
However, not everything in this version of the Glass OS is an addition. In fact, Google is removing video call support from the wearable, arguing that the feedback has been generally negative and that the team needs to go back to the drawing board to rework the system.
According to Google, less than 10-percent of Glass Explorers use video calling as it stands.
There’ll be other new features and changes, Google says, though we may have to wait until the KitKat-based firmware starts actually pushing out to Glass. Meanwhile, Google will begin offering Glass invitation-free from tomorrow morning for a limited period.