Google Glass Gets Android 4.4 Kitkat and New Features, Samsung Patents Possible Google Glass Competitor
By Gel Galang | April 16, 2014 11:20 AM EST
Updates for the Google Glass are already in, as it ushers in the Android Kitkat along with additional features for the device.
"You've been asking us when the next round of updates were coming. Well, they're coming later this week! We know it's been a little while, but this is a big one and we think it's well worth the wait," said the team behind Google Glass.
First off is the Android 4.4 Kitkat update, which is pretty much the most significant upgrade to the Glass software. The upgrade also allows for better battery life, a more reliable way for the Glass to upgrade in the future, and Glassware developers now have access to the latest Android SDK and the Glass GDK.
There are also photo bundles coming in with the Glass update, as per request from Explorers. Now you can scroll through the timeline in organized bundles so you'll be doing less swiping and more seeing. Still in the photos department, photo replies are now part of Hangouts.
Video command sorting is also an addition, where voice commands are sorted by the way you frequently and how recently you used them.
Sadly, video calls will be making their exit from the features of the Google Glass. According to the Google team, only 10% of Explorers make used of the video calls, so they are removing the experience for the meantime to improve the service.
"We hold ourselves to high standards for the features that we build, and video calls aren't living up to these standards," said the Google Glass team. "We've made the hard decision to remove video calls from Glass until the experience is better. We don't know when that will be, but in the meantime, keep an eye on MyGlass as more Glassware is built and released."
Samsung's own version of the Google Glass, patented
While the Google Glass team is working on improvements, Samsung seems to be bent on making their device offerings more diverse by the minute.
A patent for a wearable display, along the lines of the Google Glass, has been spotted though it carries unique differences with the Glass. For instance, GigaOM reports that Samsung's new patent, dubbed the "Earphone," actually functions as an in-ear headphone instead of a glass-like device.
Still, there are pretty noticeable similarities, starting with the build of Samsung's Earphone, which makes use of a heads-up display with a rotatable prism for viewing purposes. A microphone and a front camera are also included in the device.
There have been a lot of sightings of Samsung patents, though not all of them have seen the light of becoming products, so this may just be a preliminary sketch. But then again, Samsung has been known to tap into a variety of devices, so it may also become a future product for the brand.
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