Google Glass XE7 update brings web browsing, improved voice commands, and more


Google Glass vs HTC One camera DSC00163

It’s barely the first of the month and right on schedule, Google has already begun to roll out their latest software update for Google Glass. XE7 will be hitting headsets in the coming days and if Project Glass’ title is any indication — “MOAR MOAR MOAR” — you can expect more than simple bug fixes.

Web browsing

Google Glass web browser browsing

Probably the most noteworthy new feature is the ability to view and navigate web pages thanks to a built-in web browser. Previously, Glass users could only initiate a search, act which point they were stuck on Google’s search page results, without any way to dive deeper — now you can.

The web browser works intuitively using a combination of gestures and the device’s gyroscope. Slide a finger up and down to scroll, use 2 fingers to zoom in and out, pan by moving your head, and finally select areas in the center of web browser by tapping on the touchpad.

Okay, so it’s going to take some getting used to, and is only a quick fix for when you’re looking something up. Probably going to wanna stick to web browsing on your smartphone.

Improved voice commands

Glass Voice Commands

Google Glass users can now do a whole lot more without having to ever touch the device. Google has enhanced the voice functionality in Glass in the latest update to allow for more voice commands like, having messages read aloud by saying, “Ok, Glass. Read aloud,” answer calls by saying, “Ok, Glass. Answer call,” reply to SMS messages the same way, or even share a quick pic by saying, Ok, Glass. Share with so-and-so.”

Google has also (finally) lifted the 10-contact limit for making calls or sending SMS messages, bringing users’ entire Gmail contacts into Glass. This was a huge limitation previously, and something I’ve personally been waiting for since I received the device.

With updates like XE6 that drastically improved (for the most part) camera quality, and now XE7 that brings even more voice commands, I have little doubt Glass will live up to everyone’s expectations by the time it finally hits retail.

[XE7 release notes]

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.

What’s the best Android phone this summer? [July 2013]

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  1. Yay!! Soundin’ quite lovely. Now let’s get that price lowered. LoL!!

  2. I’m still waiting on mine from Google.. must’ve gotten losted in the mail!? 0_o

  3. Is is possible to configure Glass so that you just say “Glass, read aloud…..” instead of “ok, Glass….” ? The okay feels a little bit unnatural.

    1. No, you HAVE to say “Ok Glass.” That’s the activate phrase. Saying only “Glass” would cause it to activate anytime someone says, glass, ass, crass, brass, blass, etc. (anything rhyming with glass).

      1. Thanks! What if you say “ok ass”? Lol

          1. Did you find that metal lip for your camera on the One on amazon Chris?? I’ve already scuffed my lens from laying it flat :(

  4. I wonder if they’ll ever add Play Movies & TV to Glass…although, I could see lots of accidents happening if they did…

    1. I think they could, but battery life would only be about 30 minutes. Lol

      The CNN app has video clips you can watch right now, so I’m guessing YouTube and others is a possibility in a future update.

  5. just release those damn glasses already GOOGLE. can’t wait till 2014 takes too damn long

    1. They need time to bake!

  6. I saw the oddest thing today, while walking through my lobby. A guy was sitting on one of the benches, wearing google glass, but using them with an iPhone!…So weird!

  7. Isn’t it tuned to your voice Chris? I heard you only need faint whisper. Maybe bone conducting microphone?

    1. No, whispers don’t register on mine (maybe cuz my voice already sounds like a whisper). Lol

      And it IS NOT tuned to your voice. Kids, girls, old men, they’ve all been able to activate the voice commands on my device. :/

  8. I wonder if they’ll ever implement photosphere in these glasses? That would be a cool addition to the camera’s app. You could naturally look around and capture without looking completely ridiculous. In my opinion.

    1. It’s 100% possible. Navigating a web browser works in much the same way, no reason why they couldn’t do it.

      1. Does Google+ work on the unit, through an app or do you go to the web version to browse your cards?

        1. Cards? And no, there’s not an app for Google+ to browse things. You just get status updates from people who mention you. Same on Twitter, etc.

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