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Google Glass gets full-on web browser, new hands-free functions in monthly update

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david Glass stock 1
david Glass stock 1

One of the early complaints with Google Glass, still a young technology in and of itself, has been the lack of a proper web browser. Until now, web search results merely brought up a list of headlines and some brief summaries covering your subject. It wasn't ideal, and Google knew as much. Thankfully that all changes with this month's software update.

Glass will now include a more robust web browser that can be activated by selecting a "View website" option. The idea of navigating a webpage with Glass seems like it could introduce some challenges, but Google seems to have worked out a decent control scheme. Scrolling is accomplished by sliding your finger forward on the touchpad to scroll down. You can also zoom in (or out) on a page's content by sliding two fingers forward or backward. But what about just looking at the website? Google has pulled off a neat trick here. With two fingers placed on the touchpad, you simply move your head around to pan.

Glass is also gaining improved support for hands-free operation. You can tell the device to read text messages aloud and answer with 'ok glass, reply.' Phone calls can be answered in much the same way, and Glass now lets you send photos to specific contacts by voice command. Finally, users now have access to their entire Gmail contacts list, wiping out a silly ten-friend limit that was in place until now. Google says the new update will be hitting Explorer Edition units over the next couple days.