Glass Update XE 21.0 Is Aimed At Developers

Not long ago, we wrote about the XE 20.1 update for Google Glass, which improved a lot of things and changed some others. Most of the changes introduced by the XE 20.1 update are related to the contacts section, as you can access 20 of your most recent and starred contacts by voice while the rest are just a swipe away; other changes include a new head nudge card allows you Glass Explorers to turn head nudge on or off, an update to both the iOS and the Android version of the MyGlass companion app plus a lot of new voice actions. All in all, the XE 20.1 update for Glass was very important.

Less than three weeks after the XE 20.1 update for Glass, Google released a new update, the XE 21.0 update. At first it seemed to be a minor update, including a single new feature:  Waze notifications for accidents: “When looking up routes to your destination, Waze accident indicators help you avoid potential traffic.” The update also included quicker updates for flights and sports via Google Now, which means that you will only wait “a few seconds to see updates to flight information and sports scores.” With such a small feature list (which you can ), it initially seemed like a small update.

However, it seems there is more to the update than meets the eye, as it is aimed at developers since it adds some things to the GDK. The most changes introduced by the XE 21.0 update are related to the visual enhancement API – the update replaces the Card Class from the visual enhancement API with the CardBuilder class. The CardBuilder class includes nine layouts with captions, author info, auto text sizing and many other features. It is also rumored that the XE 21.0 update allows developers to insert pictures on the background of text cards, which is a pretty neat feature.

Besides the above mentioned changes, the XE 21.0 update also includes “ok glass contextual voice support to LiveCards” and “a whole bunch of new contextual voice commands and Glassware voice triggers.” There are also more debugging options included in the new XE 21.0 update, some settings that allows you to keep Google Glass on while charging, change animation speed, and even overlays that assist when placing objects on the cards. As you can see, the XE 21.0 update for Google Glass is more dev oriented than user oriented, so it’s not surprising that Google made it seems as if it was a smaller update. From a user point of view, it actually is a pretty small update, though if you are a developer you are going to find the update much more useful.

If you are a dev and you want to know what are the changes the XE 21.0 update brought to the GDK, you can check them out in the list below (which you can also find on ):

  • Replaced with , which supports many more layouts. is now deprecated and will be removed in a future release.
  • Added new voice triggers to
  • Added new contextual voice commands to
  • Added support for .
  • Added to the widget.
  • Deprecated the behavior of the : a future release will report scroll events regardless of the number of fingers on the touchpad. To keep the old behavior (i.e receiving scroll events only when exactly one finger is on the touchpad), use the new and its related .
  • Updated the to be fully compatible with Android Studio.