Google Glass today lives on as enterprise product for factories and other similar environments. The consumer-focussed Glass continues to work for Explorers that spent $1,500 from 2013 to 2015, but it surfaced today that many Google Glass features will be killed in February 2020.
A support document titled “Final software update for Glass Explorer Edition” on the old Help page (via Android Police) details how Google is removing the “need and ability to use your Google account on Glass.”
It also removes Glass’ connection to backend services. This update is available now and should be installed so you can continue using your device without issues.
There is a degree of nuance as to what this software update does. If you don’t update Glass, but are already signed in, the smart glasses will “continue to work.” However, in all scenarios, Mirror apps like Gmail, YouTube, and Hangouts will no longer function after February 25, 2020. Similarly, the MyGlass companion app for Android and iOS will stop working.
Available functionality after that deadline includes pairing directly to your phone over Bluetooth, taking photos, recording videos, and sideloading apps. This update is more intended for Glass units that are signed out of Google or reset to factory conditions. After February, it’s needed to continue using the wearable for those basic capabilities.
The final Glass update can only be installed manually, and can be seen as the company not wanting to maintain the cloud backend indefinitely. That said, Google is making it so you can keep using the device in some basic capacity. The signed image file will be officially available until 2022. Full instructions are available on the support document.
Meanwhile, Glass Enterprise Edition 2 launched in May for $999 with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR1 chip and Android Oreo. The project also moved from the X moonshot factory to the Google AR & VR division.
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