Google Glass edges toward launch with latest software update

Google continues with its roll out of monthly software updates for its Glass smart specs, on Monday releasing XE10 for its 8,000 or so Explorers across the U.S.

The beta testers can now try out its new step-by-step transit directions feature. Just as with the Google Maps directions feature used by so many on their smartphones, Glass will pull up detailed instructions straight from the home screen, including information such as transfer points and estimations on journey time.

Utter the words, “OK Glass, get directions to [location]”, and the face-based gadget will generate directions based on whatever method you used last time – ie. car, on foot, bicycle, or public transit.

Switching from bike to public transit or some other method? Simply tap the directions card and swipe until you see Transit, at which point you can make your selection.

According to TechCrunch, this latest feature currently only works with a paired Android device – iPhone owners with Glass will have to continue to use the Maps app on their smartphone to get directions, for the time being at least.

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The update also brings with it links in notifications, enabling you to visit links in tweets, texts, and emails by tapping on the card and selecting "view site."

Finally, when sending messages or comments, the profile image of the person you’re writing to will show up behind the text, providing you with a constant visual reminder (and possibly a somewhat ghostly image) of the intended recipient.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company, which is aiming to get its wearable tech in stores some time next year, kicked off a nationwide Glass roadshow last weekend. The tour lets visitors try out the high-tech specs and meet the Glass team in person, at the same time giving Google the chance to gather valuable feedback from those interested in the device.