There’s no escaping the excitement being generated by the raw potential of Google’s first foray into the world of wearable tech. A horde of developers have jumped onboard and started feverishly coding “Glassware” that will make the best use of your new smartglasses. We’ve been browsing the options and have a list of the best Google Glass apps so far. They are fairly limited right now, but it’s still early days and we’ll update this list as new apps and features roll out.
The official Twitter app lets you set up notifications for tweets, direct messages, and mentions from people you are following. This makes sense, because without some filtering most of us would be swamped, but it does require some setup time. You can reply, retweet, and favorite tweets. You can also share photos directly on your Twitter feed, but the app doesn’t allow you to add a description and it doesn’t allow you to compose a new tweet.
There are other news apps, such as the official New York Times offering, but the CNN app is superior in two important ways. Firstly, you can filter exactly the type of news you want to receive alerts on and the frequency of those alerts. Secondly, the incoming stories have wee videos attached, and it’s supercool being able to watch a breaking news video like this.
You have two options with the Evernote app. You can send a video or photo to your Evernote account. You can also send a note from your Evernote account to your Google Glass. The obvious example would be a shopping list that you write up on your home computer or tablet and then send to Glass when you embark on your next shopping trip.
Beyond the officially approved apps there are some awesome unapproved apps that can be sideloaded onto Google Glass. Winky falls into that category. If hands-free use isn’t enough then how about the ability to take photos by simply blinking? It won’t be triggered by normal blinks because the hardware is actually able to determine between blinks and deliberate winks. It couldn’t be easier or faster to capture that moment. Developer, Mike DiGiovanni, has also created Launchy which provides a way to launch native apps.
How do you like the sound of a stream of recipe instructions spoken aloud as you cook with images being beamed direct to your eye? KitchMe allows you to voice search for recipes, choose relevant cards and get a full ingredients list, and step-by-step instructions. This is the kind of activity where Google Glass can really provide a great user experience. No more smeared tablet, or flicking pages in a cook book, you have a truly hands-free assistant. It’s a little less polished, but you might fancy trying CookWithGlass as well.
If presentations are a big part of your working life then you’ll love YourShow. It connects with your Google Drive to pull in PowerPoint presentations. You can use Google Glass to view your slides and notes, and also to control the flow of the presentation. That makes it easier to focus on your audience and deliver a good performance.
By combining a bunch of handy features, Genie, enables you to get more from Google Glass. You can use it to create a shopping list, dictate a note and send it to yourself via email, mark the location where you parked, keep a daily log, and add contacts if you have their “pass phrase.” It could be one of the most useful Google Glass apps around right now, though it’s invitation-only at the moment.
You can shop on your Google Glass with the Fancy app. New items that you might be interested in pop up as cards and you can buy them or save things you think you might want later. There’s also a color search service that allows you to take a photo with Google Glass and upload it to Fancy, which will find products that match that color palette. It’s more of a novelty than a really useful app right now, but the ability to photograph any products you want and then buy them via Glass is probably not far away. There’s also a VoiceBuyer for Amazon app.
Silica Labs has produced an app for the Meetup service which is basically exactly what it sounds like – people with specific interests organizing meetings where likeminded strangers or friends can get together. If you’re going to an event then the Meetups Google Glass app will provide you with a bundle of cards that includes the names and photos of attendees. Event organizers can also access event survey answers.
All the Facebook app for Google Glass really allows you to do is share photos or videos with your choice of audience, which is Only Me, Friends or Public. You can add a description to the photo once it has been uploaded, but you won’t be able to see the likes or comments. You also can’t post anything else or access your timeline. Luckily you can always opt for the unofficial ThroughGlass app instead because it allows you post text and photo updates, as well as review and reply to comments.
That’s it for now, but new Google Glass apps are popping up all the time so we’ll update this roundup soon. In the meantime, share your experiences, and recommend the Google Glass apps you like in the comments below.