Google has started rolling out a new firmware update to Google Glass that improves on one of the most common use cases for the smart eyewear: travel. XE20.0 (amusingly no fractional part to the version number this time) gives faster updates for time-critical, and sometimes not so time-critical, information and better integrates with Waze “smart” commuting.
This latest firmware version now pushes updates coming from Google Now much quicker. This can be especially useful for flight updates, as you definitely want to be kept informed of potential delays or arrivals. Sports scores, on the other hand, might not exactly be urgent, unless you rely on it for a living, but it’s always a good thing to keep abreast of your favorite teams and sports. Just don’t suddenly jump and shout out for joy in a public place, as you will definitely look quite strange.
On a more serious note, Google Glass now integrates with Waze. Waze’s goals is to help commuters and drivers outsmart traffic by providing up to date and critical information about the status of traffic and roads. Now Google Glass owners who will look up destinations on their eyepiece will now also be informed of any traffic incidents along the way. That said, Waze incident reports is a feature that is available in a limited number of countries.
The Google Glass XE21.0 update is just the latest in Google’s regular updates, the last one being XE20.1 which finally added the ability to access all of a user’s Google contacts instead of a very limited set. It also comes on the heels of Glass now being available directly from Google Play Store. This means that the wearable is now practically available to the public, including all Shades and Frames options. That said, it still costs a very steep $1,500, which remains the biggest barrier to the device. Aside from being officially available in the US and the UK only, of course.