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Latest Google Glass Update Brings Android KitKat; Photo Replies in Hangouts and More

April 15, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

 

While Glass might not be to everyone’s taste, and animosity between those that wear and those that don’t continues to grow, Google is resuming updates for the wearable tech with some pretty big changes. While Explorers might not notice major changes right away, this latest update will mean a lot for developers. First thing’s first, this latest update brings Glass up to Android 4.4 KitKat under the hood. A welcome change for developers as they can leverage the latest Android SDK together with the GDK to create compelling Glassware. Another noticeable change is the removal of video calling, which Google has removed because it wasn’t up to the standard they would like and as such, they’ll be reinstating this in a future software update.

Something that Glass wearers will no doubt be happy to see is the inclusion of photo replies in Hangouts. You can now take or send a photo from Glass in an ongoing Hangout chat. Perhaps not a life-changing addition, but a nice use of the built-in camera and it also goes to show that Google continues to think of Hangouts and bring improvements to it. Viewing photos on Glass is to be made easier as well thanks to the inclusion of Photo Bundles, giving Explorers a break from swiping so many times to scroll through some photos.

Updates have finally resumed for Glass after a sizable break in the monthly updates, and it seems this latest update is more about polish than it is anything else. Bringing KitKat to Glass will no doubt improve responsiveness and make better use of the lower-end computing power in the headset. Getting rid of video calls is a strange thing for the Glass team to do, but we’re pretty sure they’re working on getting it back up to standard for reintroduction in a future release later down the line.