A man wearing Google Glass. (credit: Google)
Remember Google Glass—Google’s ultra-dorky, poorly supported, $1,500 face computer? Conventional wisdom said that the product was dead: it’s not sold anymore, the website was more or less shut down in 2015, its Twitter and Facebook were deleted, and the OS stopped receiving updates. But someone at Google apparently still cares about this clunky little headset, and this week the device got both a firmware update and a companion app update.
“XE23” is the new firmware version, the first such update in nearly three years. In addition to the usual “bug fixes and performance improvements,” Glass can now make use of paired Bluetooth input devices, like keyboards and mice. Android Police actually dusted off a unit and got the new firmware up and running, discovering that you’ll actually get a mouse cursor on the unit if you pair a mouse.
There’s also an update to the “MyGlass” app, Google Glass’s Android companion app. After three years of rot and a target version of Android 4.2, the app was pretty broken in Android. It’s been updated to target Android 5.1, and it now finally has a Notification Listener Service. This allows the app to sync notifications from the phone to the device, just like Android Wear. It’s also been updated to prompt the user to disable the battery-saving Doze mode for the app so it can work when the phone is asleep.
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