Google Glass owners have been waiting since December for what used to be monthly software updates. The wait will be over later this week.
Google offered a preview of the changes that are coming in the XE16 software update, which is due to be pushed out to Explorers later this week.
The biggest change mentioned is an upgrade to KitKat, the current version of Android software, as the underlying software that Glass will run. With it, Google says battery life will improve and Glass will be more reliable and easier to update in the future. It also means Glass developers can take advantage of the current Android developer features.
Also noteworthy is Google’s decision to drop the video calling feature from Glass. The company says fewer than 10 percent of Explorers use Glass for video calls, and the feature just isn’t up to par. It may return later, but the more likely scenario is that third-party developers will make apps that offer a similar feature.
Although the final list of updates isn’t known, Google also shared details about new features like photo bundles, photo replies in Hangouts, easier feedback from within Glass and automated sorting of voice commands.
XE16 will be released later this week.
Postscript, 11:30 pm: Google released XE16 tonight.