Google continues to improve its first wearable device by rolling out monthly software updates for Google Glass. Past updates have added features like the web browsing, transit directions and a heads-up vide player. Today’s update adds more personalized search options for Glass similar to the voice-powered search features Google rolled out to other products in August. It also provides a massive update to the setup sequence for new Glass users.
A Google+ post titled “Take Me Home Tonight” detailed the XE11 update by outlining the new calendar search feature. In it, the Glass team explained how to easily view calendar entries to keep you on top of the holiday season hustle and bustle.
With personalized calendar search, Glass Explorers can use voice to ask Glass things like “my agenda” or “what am I doing tomorrow” and receive personalized results. In order for this to work, Explorers will have to be Google Calendar users with Gmail and private search enabled.
The second major feature lets users get directions to their home or work without having to use their address. Explorers can now say, “OK, Glass, get directions to” and use either “home” or “work” to be show the route and receive driving, biking, walking or transit directions. To use this feature, Explorers will need to configure their home and work addresses as part of Google Now or Google Maps.
XE11 also brings a massive overhaul to the Google Glass setup sequence for new users. The initial pairing process to either an Android app or your Google account using QR via your computer is greatly improved. And Google has done a great job explaining the major use cases of Glass through a series of animated tutorials.
The vastly-improved setup process suggests that Google is expecting a lot of new Glass Explorers in the coming months. This may be related to the expected hardware swap Explorers were notified of late last month. Or it could suggest that a commercial rollout of Glass is closer than we think.