Google Glass XE6 update brings always-on HDR, muddy photo quality, new Google Now cards, and more


Google Glass XE6 update

True to their word, Google has just issued one of their monthly updates to Google Glass  announcing the news, along with handy changelog, onto their Project Glass Google+ page. The latest software update brings Glass from XE5 to XE6 and just like last time around, introduces more than just your typical bug fixes.

Google Glass XE6 left - XE5 right

XE6 (left), XE5 (right)

Google knows well that Glass’ killer feature is its photo capture capabilities and despite already producing some pretty stellar results pre-update, further “improves” upon the camera with HDR. Google says this will provide for better dynamic range, and I’ll admit, the new always-on HDR does provide for better pictures where there are extremely bright background and dimly lit subjects. Both Google’s, and my own photos, can attest to this.

Google Glass XE6 vs XE5 camera update

XE6 (left), XE5 (right)

My problem? First off, all images have now been robbed of 32 pixels, cropped from 2560×1888 to 2528×1856. It may not sound like much, but I was really fond of the way Glass shot very wide (made framing shots much easier). Most likely this was to “fix” some of the chromatic aberration and lens distortion around the edges of pictures shot with Glass, but as I mentioned before, I preferred the wider angle.

Google Glass XE6 left - XE5 right - 100 crop

XE6 (left), XE5 (right)

You’ll also notice the images are now softened quite a bit, giving them a very muddy Sense 4 look (see close up of my wood above). I loved the camera pre-update and I’m not sure why Google bothered messing with a good things. Now I’m hoping someone can find a way to revert the camera software, even if it means rooting my Glass.

Google Glass XE6 update Sharing caption

Besides a new lackluster camera, XE6 also brings the ability to (finally) add a caption to the images you share. This used to be a huge inconvenience, and lead to many Glass users simply photos to their favorite social networks without any text whatsoever. Glass has also gotten a few new Google Now cards for sports and birthdays. Hopefully all the cards will make it to the headset in a later update and until then, we’ll keep you posted.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. I also prefer your wood less softened Chris Chavez. (I have more insightful things to say, but I couldn’t let the first comment go to waste.)

  2. I refused to click on the close up of your “wood”.

  3. I’m confused. Just how did you take the same photos with different Glass firmware? Did you get everyone in that group picture together for a re-shoot? The pictures themselves are even slightly different!

  4. 32 pixels? #firstworldproblems silly Chris.

  5. Has no one noticed that the word “Google” is misspelled in the title of the article? Come on guys.

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