Facebook, Twitter announce apps for Google's Glass
Google says it's still figuring out the best ways to use Glass, but the company announced Thursday that Facebook, Twitter and several other media firms have built their own applications for the futuristic-looking wearable computer.
Facebook confirmed that its members can take pictures with Glass and post them to their Facebook timelines, with an app that allows them to add comments or even change their minds and delete the photo later.
Twitter also said its users can share photos from Glass, as well as receive and reply to tweets. CNN and Elle magazine have joined The New York Times in developing apps that will send news alerts and photos to Glass wearers. And Evernote lets users create lists or notes on different computers and view them on Glass.
Google has acknowledged that some people are still baffled, or even worried, about the potential for its Internet-connected headset device. That's why it's working to encourage some well-known brands to build apps that show how Glass can be used.
"Examples are really important right now," said Timothy Jordan, Google's senior developer advocate for Glass, during a session at the company's I/O software conference Thursday. "We are all collectively ... figuring out what the best experience is on Glass."
Glass is a popular fashion accessory at the I/O conference, which runs through Friday. Many attendees could be spotted wearing them in meeting rooms, hallways - and yes, even in restrooms, sometimes in disregard of an emerging rule of etiquette that suggests tilting the device and its camera toward the ceiling in such surroundings.
Google has only sold the gadget to a limited number of techies, but it's hoping to enter the consumer market by next year. And many developers are eager to work on creating new uses for the gadget.
They packed the mid-sized conference room where Jordan was speaking, while more crowded around a large video screen in an overflow area where his talk was being streamed.
"I think that it's quite exciting," said Peter O'Shaughnessy, a London-based software developer for a publishing company, who is attending the I/O conference. While he has not yet had a chance to buy his own Glass device, O'Shaughnessy said it reminded him of the first iPhone.
"A lot of people look at something new like this and they dismiss it," he acknowledged. "They say it's stupid. But you have to try these things out to explore how to use them. It's a chance to think about technology in a different way, to find different outlets for sharing content."
Jordan showed off the newest Glass apps while also demonstrating basic functions such as taking pictures, sending email and asking Google's translation app how to say "welcome" in German. In addition, he offered some tips that were both technical and philosophical for people who want to write software for the device.
Make sure you're showing timely information, and don't make it too disruptive, he urged.
"You don't want Glass to get in the way," Jordan explained, adding that showing a 30-second video is reasonable, but 30 minutes is too much.
"It's not about staring up all day" at Glass's tiny screen, which sits in the upper right of a wearer's field of vision. "It's about living your life."
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