New Update Lets Google Glass View Websites And Listen To More Voice Commands

And Google Glass’ slow march toward market readiness continues. The development team shared a few details about an upcoming update on the official Glass Google+ page, and it finally unlocks some oft-requested features for all those Glass Explorers to start mucking around with.

The changelog is a pretty significant one — users will soon be able to initiate calls and send messages to Gmail contacts, and rather than having to navigate to the OK Glass launcher card before issuing a voice command, users can boss their headgear around without having to touch anything. But most importantly though, Google is now letting users view webpages through Glass.

The post makes it seem as though the touchpad mounted on Glass’ right side will be responsible for most of the navigation — users can swipe forward and backward along the panel to scroll up and down, and there are multiple navigation schemes to fiddle with. Thankfully, there’s one tailor-made for those who generally feel impervious to embarrassment: users can pan around their favorite websites by touching two fingers to the touchpad and moving their heads to and fro. You know, nice and discreet. It’s a little hard to visualize, but current Glass Explorers won’t have to wait too long to see it for themselves as the update is slated to go live over the next few days.

Frankly, it was only a matter of time before Google let those particular cats out of the bag — we’ve known that Glass had the ability to fire up a browser and listen to voice commands outside of that launcher card ever since an enterprising developer named Zhuowei Zhang uncovered a slew of so-called Glass Lab Experiments and shared them on GitHub. Naturally, there’s still plenty on that list that hasn’t been publicly implemented yet (think video stabilization and a Cliplet feature that records short snippets of video, to name a few), so expect a boatload of new updates between now and Glass’ tentative release date later this year.