Google Glass updates include KitKat, but video calls scrapped

Google Glass updates include KitKat, but video calls scrapped

15 APR 2014

Google has announced a series of updates to its Glass eyewear, but it’s the arrival of KitKat that it describes as the most exciting.

By using the latest version of Android, Google says that not only is battery performance improved but it also makes Glass “more reliable and easier to update in the future”.

Moreover, because of Android KitKat, the search engine giant says developers can write Glassware using the “latest Android SDK goodness”, along with new features from its GDK (glass development kit).

But, for the time being at least, Google has scrapped video calls after taking into account feedback from ‘Google Explorers’ (Google’s name for initial wearers of the technology).

“We hold ourselves to high standards for the features that we build, and video calls aren’t living up to these standards,” said Google. ”Explorers have told us so directly, and fewer than 10 per cent of them use video calls.”

Other Google Glass updates include the bundling of photos. Glass Explorers can now “swipe less and see more” when they scroll down their timeline.

Photo replies are also now possible in ‘hangouts’. Google says it introduced this feature in response to the growing popularity of photo-sharing among Explorers.

Voice commands are now sorted by most recent and frequency, making it easier to see those used most often.

Google Glass went on sale today (15 April) in the US, carrying a price tag of $1,500. The sale is for one day only.

Author

Ken Wieland

Ken has been part of the MWC Mobile World Daily editorial team for the last three years, and is now contributing regularly to Mobile World Live. He has been a telecoms journalist for over 15 years, which includes eight...More

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