Google has released a software update for Google Glass. The update adds a new setup experience to make it easier to use Google Glass for the first time. It also adds the option to set “home” and “work” addresses to make it easier to ask for directions.
There is also a new voice commands including “ok glass, google my agenda” to display upcoming appointments and “ok glass, google what am I doing next week?” to display next week’s appointments.
A new “Start screencast” option in the notification drawer makes it easier to see on the phone what’s displayed on the Google Glass screen. The long press on the trackpad to search has been replaced with three slow taps to make it harder to accidentally trigger. Learn more in the release notes here.
Google has launched restricted Google+ communities for businesses. Google+ communities allow a group of users to communicate without broadcasting their messages to everyone, though anyone can join the group.
The new restricted Google+ communities allow businesses to create a community that only their own employees can join. This allows businesses to keep their messages inside the organisation, though outsiders can be invited to join the group if needed.
Inside the restricted community, users can post Google Docs files, videos, events and photos. Community owners can change settings, manage members and invite more employees to join the conversation. Learn more on the Google Enterprise Blog here.
Early next year, Google will start displaying a caller’s Google+ profile pic on Android KitKat. This means callers who have entered a verified phone number on their Google+ profile will have a profile pic displayed even if they aren’t in the user’s address book. Learn more on the Android blog here and opt out here.
Google has demoed its new photo editor in Android KitKat. The photo editor works on tablets and phones and can apply effects, filters and adjustments to images down to specific colours and regions.
The editor is also non-destructive, so it is possible to reset adjustments. Learn more on the Google+ website here.
Monotype has integrated Google Fonts into its Typecast web design tool. Google Fonts provides access to many free fonts that can be used on websites. With Typecast, users can enter text of any length and use a wide range of type controls.
They can then choose fonts from Google Fonts, make adjustments to the font size, weight and line spacing and compare Web fonts side-by-side to see what works best. Browse Google Fonts here and try out the Typecast tool for free here.
Google has announced that the Nexus 5 with Android KitKat is now available. The Nexus 5 has a Snapdragon 800 processor, a 5-inch 1080p screen made of Gorilla Glass 3, a 2300mAh battery and an 8MP camera with optical image stabilization.
It is made of plastic and weighs 190 grams, which is 9 grams lighter than the Nexus 4. There are different models available in black or white with a storage option of 16GB for US$349 or 32GB for US$399. The Nexus 5 doesn’t support expandable storage, though it does support LTE and it is available for all US carriers except Verizon. Learn more here.
The Nexus 5 comes with Android KitKat preinstalled. With this update, it is possible to swipe left or say “Okay, Google” to open Google Now. Text now uses a condensed version of Google’s Roboto font, the icons are larger, and the status bar and bottom bar are now translucent with the wallpaper visible behind them.
The Widgets tab has been removed from the app drawer, though it’s still possible to add widgets by long-tapping. Hangouts can now send and receive SMS messages, though it still doesn’t support Google Voice. Learn more on the Google Android KitKat website here.
Google has announced upcoming improvements to its image tools in Google+. Through deep learning, Google will be able to automatically add thousands more keywords to make untagged images easier to find.
Auto-enhance has finer controls that can be applied on an album-by-album basis. New HDR Scape and Analog Efex Pro settings can be used to apply various camera effects to images.
Auto Awesome has new options to merge multiple photos of an object in motion into a single photo and automatically create a video with background track using selected videos and images. Google+ for iOS will also be updated soon to automatically upload full-resolution images.
Google is also expanding the availability of custom URLs in Google+. Users who have a profile photo, at least 10 followers and an account that is at least 30 days old can apply for a custom URL. Learn more on the Google+ website here.
Twitter has announced it has added new Sessions and Time Travel features to its Vine app for Android and iOS. The Sessions feature adds a new button in the bottom-right corner that can be used to save drafts of up to ten posts to work on later.
The Time Travel feature can then be used to remove, reorganise or replace any shot in a draft before it is shared. Learn more on the Vine Blog here and download the updated app for iOS from the iTunes store here or for Android from Google Play here.
Previously, Google added handwriting recognition to Google Translate. Now, Google has added it to Gmail and Google Docs too. Use the Pencil icon to select a language and then use a mouse or trackpad to draw text.
Currently, Gmail supports over 50 languages including Chinese, Japanese, Hindi and Russian and Google Docs supports over 20 languages. Learn more on the Official Gmail Blog here.
Google has announced it has made reCAPTCHA easier for humans to read and harder for bots. To do this, advanced risk analysis is used before, during and after interaction to decide the likelihood that the user is human.
CAPTCHAs that are easy-to-read text and image numbers are served to users who are likely to be human and harder CAPTCHAs are sent to users who are likely to be a bot. Learn more on the Google Online Security Blog here.
Facebook has added Instagram, Tumbler, Flickr and Pinterest integration to its Facebook Home app for Android. Users can enter their account details to browse stories from these other social networks on their lock screen instead of through the dedicated apps.
Using an Android device? Download the update from the Google Play store here.