Consumers with the Explorer Edition of Glass should be prepared for the end. Its capabilities are set to be limited early next year as Google rolls out a final software update, according to Android Police(Opens in a new window).
Be sure to grab the software update before late February. Google will let Explorer Edition owners download and install it until early 2022, but the software update is required to continue using the headset as logins will be disabled on February 25, 2020. If you’re already logged in and don’t update Glass, just expect to lose access to backend services like everyone else.
Apps such as Gmail, Hangouts, and YouTube drop functionality after the software update or when the deadline hits, whichever comes first. The limited capabilities will include taking photos and recording videos, and users can still sideload third-party apps. Needless to say, it’s the end of the road for the Explorer Edition.
“After February 25, 2020, this update removes the need and ability to use your Google account on Glass. It also removes Glass’ connection to backend services,” a support document reads(Opens in a new window). “This update is available now and should be installed so you can continue using your device without issues.”
The software update can be downloaded and installed today. Just don’t expect a quick over-the-air process. Instead, owners of the Explorer Edition are required to download an image file, unzip folders, and run ADB commands. Once completed, Glass will restart and cut off access to key features.
In addition, the MyGlass app for iOS and Android ceases working after the software update. The support document reveals Google has discontinued compatibility through its companion app. If you own the Explorer Edition of Glass and still want to pair your smartphone, you’ll need to do so using Bluetooth.
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Glass isn’t going away completely, though. It’ll continue serving as an enterprise product in factories and other industrialized workplaces. Google announced Glass Enterprise Edition 2 in May, and it packs a Snapdragon XR1 as well as an upgraded battery. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for consumers to purchase this model as it’s sold directly to businesses. Maybe one day we’ll see Glass reintroduced for consumers, but that doesn’t appear all too likely.
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