Today during a session at Google I/O, Google Senior Developer Advocate for Glass Timothy Jordan announced that Google was currently working on a native development environment for developers looking to work with its head mounted computer. The Glass Development Kit is in process now and there’s no current ETA for its arrival.
Jordan notes that running the Explorer program, which ships Glass out to pre-orderers and some high-profile users, and developing the kit at the same time has presented challenges.
The kit will allow for many things that are not currently possible using the already existing Glass Mirror API. Some of those things include offline access, which will download things like navigation instructions for later viewing and giving more direct access to the Glass hardware.
Jordan says that the GDK will essentially be ‘like developing for Android, with a new library’, so developers familiar with working on Android shouldn’t have a problem. This isn’t too surprising as Glass does run on Android.
The current Google Mirror API uses a combination of technologies like HTML and Json to allow developers to quickly build ‘apps’ with a variety of functions. The New York Times, for instance, sends cards to the unit that feature headlines that Glass can read out loud. A native environment, however, would allow for much more flexibility and possibility for developers, as the structure of the Mirror API limits heavily what kinds of things can be shared and how they’re presented to the user.
Jordan went on to solicit developers for suggestions on features that they’d like to see appear in the new GDK. The session also outlined a variety of ‘best practices’ for developers including how much data they use and how much share of user attention they grab.
Google announced a number of new partner apps today on stage at Google I/O during the “Developing for Glass” session. Facebook and Twitter were the highlights of the list, which also included Evernote, Tumblr, Elle and CNN, in addition to the previously announced NYT and Path apps.
The CNN app sends video to Glass via updates, and streams news to a browsable feed. The Twitter app provides your stream, as well as posting capabilities and the power to snap photos from Glass and post them direct to your stream. On stage, Glass developer evangelist Timothy Jordan emphasized the DM capabilities on Twitter for Glass and how the messages add to a thread that becomes a bundle on Glass.
Evernote on Glass holds true to its note-taking roll, giving users the ability to have their notes shared to Glass from the web or mobile apps. Content is translated to simple text by the Glass service and displayed as simple short paginated messages.
Facebook on Glass essentially acts as a new photo sharing tool, giving users a chance to immediately post pics to their FB timeline, and to then add captions and descriptions to those images via voice input once they’re posted. The pics can be deleted immediately if added by accident, and also shared either privately or with friends and the public. Jordan described the simple sharing and annotation features as exemplary of how a Glass experience should work.
Elle provides snippets in the form of headlines to make it easy to browse through at a glance, and you can also add things to reading lists, or have articles read aloud. For Elle, Jordan said it’s a good way to funnel users to the main website later, and also a means of providing them with info about what articles are proving most interesting to users.
All the apps are available today if you’re lucky enough to be an Explorer or a developer with access to the hardware.
During its Google I/O 2013 conference on Thursday, Google announced that Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr sharing apps would be coming to Google Glass today. The apps are enabled for sharing just like any other contact using the Glass Mirror API.
One of the first games for Glass, called Icebreaker, is also available today. It was created by several programmers who met at a Glass Foundry developer event.
You can install any of the apps from Google.com/MyGlass if you’ve got the hardware.
The company is using the service’s public API to add the new feature, rather than any special relationship, but, nonetheless, Microsoft will hope that adding the massively popular services gives Outlook.com — which has 400 million active accounts – an edge over its rivals, and Gmail in particular.
Microsoft says that the move is a response to feedback from its users who “choose to use many different services”, so the company is fulfilling its role “to help them connect to the people who matter most, wherever they are”.
The integration has also come to SkyDrive and it follows the the rollout of Skype for Outlook.com last month. Google Talk joins a roster of other integrated social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. Thus, adding Google Talk — the only of these social services that Gmail supports — takes it past the Google email service, and puts a selection of the Web’s most popular services in users’ inboxes.
Outlook.com had 400 million active accounts, as of May 2 when the company completed the migration of its Hotmail. Prior to that, Outlook.com hit 60 million sign-ups in February, six months after it was launched.
While the move is an interesting one that brings more functionality and will make the prospect of an Outlook.com account more appealing to many, Microsoft is competing against bigger issues than just IM/chat functionality.
Gmail is tightly linked to Google Drive and Google Docs, not to mention its vast array of other services, which has given it relative entrenchment on the Web today.
Nonetheless, Microsoft is at least working to develop its service with useful and relevant new features. It will be interesting to see what else it has in store further down the line.
Headline image via Lionel Bonaventure / Getty Images
View original post here: Microsoft adds Google Talk support to Outlook.com in a bid to woo Gmail users
On the eve of its developer conference, Google today revealed a new statistic about its Google+ Sign-In feature. The company says that 40 percent of Android users, when prompted, accept to download an app over-the-air.
Seth Sternberg, the company’s Google+ Product Management Director, released a statement touting the news:
When we launched Google+ Sign-In, we wanted to bridge the gap between desktop and mobile by allowing web users to instantly download a site’s Android app with just one click using our over-the-air install feature. Since launch, we’re now finding that 40% of people who are offered to install a website’s mobile app, accept. This is a significant benefit for consumers, who can now easily access their favorite sites on the go, and developers, who are experiencing greater mobile usage.
Google+ Sign-In was released to compete against the likes of Facebook Connect and launched with 10 partners initially. When implemented, the service enabled developers to prompt users to download their app instead of viewing the content on the mobile browser. It also promotes sharing of data to Google’s social network.
The Google+ team has been rather busy over the past few days leading up to Google I/O, which starts tomorrow. Yesterday, the company announced a new offensive aimed at mobile users whereby it would pull together parts of its search engine with its social network. The goal would be to create a new feature aimed at promoting suggested articles and content to mobile Web visitors.
Mario Anima, a Google+ Product Manager, also revealed yesterday that there are more than 50 companies who have integrated the Google+ Sign-In feature who will be sharing their stories at the conference. Most recently, is SoundCloud.
Photo credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images