As we reported earlier this week, Google has released their monthly Google Glass upgrade to all Glass Explorers. This upgrade which goes by the name XE9 includes a lot of major and minor changes. For those who are not familiar with the acronym “XE”, it stands for Explorer Edition. We reported on several of the major changes once before but having spent a few days with the XE9 upgrade, I realized that there are several subtle changes that Google did not announce as part of their monthly feature announcement.
On Head Detection Tone
When the On Head Detection option is active on Google Glass, a softer tone is now played rather than the harsh tone that was in previous builds.
Note : After completing the XE9 upgrade, the On Head Detection system is forced off. It appears that a complete recalibration is needed.
Hyperlinks In Emails
Since the upgrade, I have noticed that select links in email messages can now be selected by tapping on Glass’s Touchpad. When a link is clicked, Glass’s internet browser launches displaying the web page. This comes in handy when reading the large number of news tips that AndroidHeadlines gets on a daily basis.
I am not the biggest fan of Glass’s web browser but you cannot argue the convenience
Interestingly YouTube links sent via Google Plus also seem to play in Glass’s new YouTube Player.
Google Now Birthday Cards
Prior to XE9, The Google Now birthday cards were designed to be static reminders that it’s someone’s birthday and bring on any guilt for you forgetting. While the cards were nice to have, they really served no other purpose than to tell you to go to your computer and wish them a Happy Birthday. The XE9 upgrade now allows me to tap on a birthday card and send them a personal message or to call them.
Note : This requires their contact information and Birthday in Google Plus/Google Contacts. This will not work with local phone contacts and contacts in other Social Networks such as Facebook.
Along with a few improvements, Last Months XE8 upgrade introduced a rather annoying auto-brightness bug that caused the screen to randomly become very dim and immediately increase the brightness to a very uncomfortable level. After speaking with several Glass explorers last month, there was an overwhelming agreement that this bug impacted most of the Glass Explorers.
This bug seems seems to be fixed in XE9 and I am sure that a lot of Glass Explorers will be happy to see this.
In previous versions of the Google Glass firmware, a noticeable lag can be observed when flipping through your timeline, especially when you have a large number of photos / emails / Google Plus posts in your timeline. This has been significantly improved in XE9.
Thats all we have for now. When you combine this list with the major items that were included with this monthly install of the Google Glass upgrade, you can see that this was indeed a large update. It is clear that Google is listening to the feedback from Glass Explorers and I am happy to count myself as a member of that elite group. Glass has changed my life in many ways and as each upgrade brings Google Glass one step closer to being deemed ready for the consumer market.