Google Glass, which is set to go on-sale to the public at the end of the year--today, gets the technical specifications out to public, alongwith a new "MyGlass app for Android", and a web-based Glass Setup wizard.
MyGlass app, "allows you to configure and manage Google Glass through Android devices."
The app enables Glass to handle SMS messages and also provides location services for the device. While Glass will work with any Bluetooth-enabled phone, these features will only be enabled through the companion app.
And, the Glass setup wizard walks users through the first steps of getting started with Glass and uses a QR code that you can scan with Glass to link the hardware with your account.
The wizard also allows you to set up Glass on your local Wi-Fi network.
In the specifications, Glass sports a "high resolution display" of 640 x 360, which is apparently the "equivalent of a 25 inch high definition screen from eight feet [2.4 meters] away."
Glass' audio, is powered by a bone conduction transducer, removing the need for an in-ear earpiece and keeping the overall look quite sleek.
The camera on the eyepiece, is a 5-megapixels and capable of 720p video recording.
The Glass sports adjustable nosepads and a durable frame that is designed to fit "any face". There are also "extra nosepads in two sizes".
Glass comes with 16 GB of internal storage, 12 GB of which are user-accessible and "synced with Google cloud storage".
Glass uses a Texas Instruments dual-core OMAP 4430 SoC (clocked at an unknown speed) and has 1GB of RAM, 682MB of which is available to developers.
Google has now also released the developer guidelines for its Glass Mirror API, check it out here.
The first version of the API, called "Glassware," provides developers with a set of RESTful services and is completely cloud-based and none of the code will actually run on Glass itself.
- Adjustable nosepads and durable frame fits any face.
- Extra nosepads in two sizes.
High resolution display is the equivalent of a 25 inch high definition screen from eight feet away.
- Photos - 5 MP
- Videos - 720p
- Bone Conduction Transducer
- Wifi - 802.11b/g
- 12 GB of usable memory, synced with Google cloud storage. 16 GB Flash total.
One full day of typical use. Some features, like Hangouts and video recording, are more battery intensive.
- Included Micro USB cable and charger.
While there are thousands of Micro USB chargers out there, Glass is designed and tested with the included charger in mind. Use it and preserve long and prosperous Glass use.
- Any Bluetooth-capable phone.
- The MyGlass companion app requires Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher. MyGlass enables GPS and SMS messaging.
Here are the videos demostrating the new Glassware API:
Update 05/04: A Google employee, working on the Google Glass project, recently stated that they are adding more-complete iPhone compatibility to Glass "very soon."
At present, to use text messaging and navigation on Google Glass, users have to pair it with an Android phone and install the Glass companion app on their phones. Soon, Glass, will be able to handle these features independent of the device the user has paired it to "and maybe even independent of the Glass companion app."
"Glass, will soon be able to handle these features independent of the device the user has paired it to (and maybe even independent of the Glass companion app)," the Google exec stated.
"While Glass will happily work with any iPhone over Bluetooth or use any Wi-Fi connection to get online, iPhone users are currently unable to get turn-by-turn directions through Glass - one of its killer features. Those direction are pretty useful while you are navigating a new city and they do show off the power of location-based apps on Glass, but the software will currently balk if you ask it to give you directions while it's connected to an iPhone."
In regard to navigation, Google Glass needs the tethered phone to act as a proxy for the GPS, as turn-by-turn navigation requires highly-accurate location data. When a user asks for navigation on the Glass, the device sends a message to the phone app to actually perform the heavy lifting.
On iOS, Google's companion app can use the CoreBluetooth framework, introduced in iOS 5, to interact with the Glass.
For SMS, Glass can intercept text messages notifications in the same way the Pebble watch does, using the Bluetooth MAP profile. However, replying to messages is currently inconceivable with current iOS security policies.
Therefore, whilst a companion iOS app for Glass will open up more of the features that Android phone owners currently enjoy.