Today, Google Glass gets transit directions via the new XE10 update, as long as you’ve paired it with an Android phone. Previously, the head computer would give you directions to nearby locations but only via your feet or personal vehicle.
This latest update adds buses, streetcars and more into the mix, letting you specify a location and allowing Glass to pin down the exact routes and timing for you. This utilizes the navigation system of your connected Android phone, meaning that you’re not going to be able to do this with Glass alone, or with it connected to an iOS device. Currently only the MyGlass app on Android can pass along the location information needed to get these directions.
The Glass team explains how you use the new transit directions: “From the Home screen, get directions by saying “ok glass, get directions to…” Glass will pull up directions by whatever method you used last. To switch the manner of transportation, tap the directions card and swipe until you see Transit.”
This all sounds great and lovely, but my worry is that Glass isn’t exactly ubiquitous enough — even in San Francisco, home of all things new and gadgety — to feel comfortable trucking along on most public transportation while wearing it. I’ve worn it out and about both in suburban and urban areas and felt very uncomfortable riding trains or buses with it on. The devices are still $1,500 and there is a certain theft risk here.
Not that this is a reason for the Glass team to stop adding features, though, and they continue to do so at the ‘one update a month’ clip promised at Google I/O.
This update also brings two additional features, including the ability to tap on a card to visit links sent to you in tweets, texts, emails and other messages. You can now also see a profile picture of the person you’re talking to while sending a message. The text is overlaid on top of it.
Still not to be found? The full GDK (Glass Developer Kit) will allow people to build official ‘native’ Glass apps instead of the current crop of what are basically web-based apps.