Google updates Glass' search and calendar in XE11 – and won't brick resold devices

Google updates Glass' search and calendar in XE11 – and won't brick resold devices

Summary: Google has updated Glass to XE11 and removed the threat to deactivate devices if they're sold second hand.


Google has released the fifth update to the software for Glass, XE11, which brings more personalised search and calendar commands — and the company has confirmed it won't brick the Explorer device if it's sold on. 

XE11 means Glass owners can get directions to key locations with commands such as "OK Glass, get directions to home" or "get directions to work" as long as they've added those location to My Places on Google Maps.

The other personalisation update lets Glass owners who use Google Calendar to bring up plans by saying "my agenda" or asking "what am I doing in November". The feature works for users that have enabled Google's private search, which it rolled out in the US earlier this year through Chrome and its mobile apps, to bring up results from Gmail and Calendar. 

Google has also trimmed the long press control on the touchpad to activate search. "It turns out that a lot of people long pressing the touchpad to activate a Google search were doing so by mistake. That's not exactly as useful as we imagined it when we started the experiment, so we've turned it off," Google notes.

It was one of three options to activate search, which also included saying "OK Glass, google..." from the Home screen or tapping the touchpad three times. Long touch activate search when the display was off.

There's also a 'Start screencast' shortcut in the notification draw that makes it easier display what's on Glass on a connected smartphone.

Unrelated to the XE11 update, Google also says it won’t brick Glass devices that are sold to people outside its Explorer program. Besides 2,000 developers in the US that have Glass, 8,000 members of the public were invited to buy them via the #ifihadglass competition.

Google's still not quite endorsing the resale of its specs, but it has removed the clause in its terms which formerly gave it the right to deactivate Glass if it was sold second hand.

In it's Glass FAQ, Google writes: "The Explorer program is about taking Glass out in the world and seeing what's possible with the technology. We hope our Explorers are excited to do just that. While it's against our terms of service to sell your device, we don't plan on disabling any Explorer's device. "

Under 'Resale and Gifts', the new terms and conditions read: "You may not commercially resell any Device, but you may give the Device as a gift, unless otherwise set forth in the Device Specific Addendum. Recipients of gifts may need to open and maintain a Google Wallet account in order to receive support from Google. These Terms will also apply to any gift recipient."

Further reading

Topics: Google, Emerging Tech, Hardware

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • Glass

    For most my needs my cell phone works much better.
    • How do you know?

      I'm betting you are making it up as you go along.