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Google boosts Glass with Google+, search upgrades

A week before Google I/O, the company pushes through a software upgrade

Google Glass developers and early adopters should be getting a software upgrade within the next week that adds tweaks to Google+, Gmail and search.

A few thousand developers and early adopters have been working with the computerized eyewear for the past month or so. This week, they should be getting a software update dubbed XE5.

According to Google, users automatically will get the update within a week.

The upgrade includes Google+ notifications for photos shared with the user, as well as for comments made on photos shared through Glass. Users also will get notifications for Google+ Hangouts invitations.

Google also moved to ramp up Glass' transcription speed for search queries and voice messages. Glass was designed to be controlled by touch, gesture and voice. The eyeglasses also are set up to use voice, for example, to answer users' queries by voice.

The company also is trying to increase the reliability of what it calls Glass' On-Head Detection, which enables Glass when the user first puts them on. Once they're placed on the user's head, the product's touchpad is activated, notifications and head gestures begin working, the display is activated and calls can be received.

The XE5 update also adds a more reliable alert system for a low battery charge. The update also adds the ability for Glass to send crash reports if the device shuts down or becomes unresponsive.

The update comes a week before Google's annual developers conference, Google I/O, opens in San Francisco. Much of the focus of the conference is expected to be on Glass and Android, Google's mobile operating system.

Glass is futuristic-looking, computerized eyeglasses designed to take photos and video, and upload them to Google+ or Facebook. The glasses also are designed to send and receive Gmail, searche and pull up maps.

Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman, said recently that Glass won't officially start shipping Glass for another year.

This article, Google boosts Glass with Google+, search upgrades, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is [email protected].

See more by Sharon Gaudin on Computerworld.com.

Read more about mobile/wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.

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