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Google drops Glass video calling in Android 4.4 Kitkat update

First it giveth, then it taketh away
Tue Apr 15 2014, 09:52

girl looking silly wearing Google GlassGOOGLE WILL UPDATE its augmented reality eyewear Glass to Android 4.4 Kitkat this week, but the upgrade will remove the spectacles' video calling feature.

Just one day before Glass goes on sale in the US for 24 hours, Google announced that it will update Glass to Android 4.4 Kitkat this week, bringing longer battery life and performance improvements.

"You've been asking us when the next round of updates were coming. Well, they're coming later this week! We know it's been a little while, but this is a big one and we think it's well worth the wait," Google boasted.

However, the update will remove video calling on Glass, with Google admitting that the feature isn't living up to its high standards.

Google said on Google+ on Monday, "We hold ourselves to high standards for the features that we build, and video calls aren't living up to these standards. Explorers have told us so directly, and fewer than 10 [percent] of them use video calls. For this reason, we've made the hard decision to remove video calls from Glass until the experience is better."

Google added that it doesn't know when the feature will be returning, but advises wearers of the spectacles to keep an eye on Myglass for incoming apps with similar functionality.

While the Android 4.4 Kitkat removes video calling, it does add some new features. These include Photo Bundles, which will group together images and videos from each day into groups, and photo replies in Hangouts.

Google said, "The next time someone asks 'what's up,' tap 'Reply' and then take a photo to show them. (If you already took the perfect photo, you can still tap to 'Send' it in a Hangouts."

Other new features include the ability to send feedback from the spectacles and improved voice commands. µ


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