After holding out on its monthly update schedule for Glass in March, Google has announced that its controversial wearable headset will be getting updated to Android 4.4 KitKat later this week. The update comes just in time for a one-day sale that will let anyone in the US buy Glass’ Explorer prototype for $1,500.
The XE16 update will improve performance and battery life on the device, while letting developers write apps (aka Glassware) using the latest SDK and APIs the OS has to offer. New features include Photo Bundles, which will group photos and videos to make it easier to scroll through them, sorting of voice commands by frequency and recency for quicker access, and the option to reply with photos in Hangouts conversations (you can either send existing photos or take a new one.) Furthermore, it will make it possible to send feedback directly from Glass, by tapping the device info card in the settings.
The most noteworthy thing about the update is actually the removal of a pretty important feature – video calls. According to Google, the feature isn’t up to snuff and less than 10 percent of users were actively making video calls, resulting in its removal in the KitKat update. It could make a return in future updates, but not until the company can do the needful to improve the experience.