Monday, January 27, 2014

Gmail glitch sends thousands of emails to one man’s Hotmail

Gmail glitch sends thousands of emails to one man’s Hotmail
Screengrab of Gmail is seen in this photo.
A Gmail glitch on Friday ensured that one man, David S.Peck in California got thousands of emails from strangers, according to a report on TechCrunch.

How did this error take place? Well according to the TechCrunch report, the error was in the Google Search link for Gmail itself, where users who searched “Gmail” were led to a results page with a link that said “Email,” and once they clicked on that link it created a new email with Peck’s address.

In fact TechCrunch even managed to speak to Peck, who told the website about the problem saying, “I’ve been getting thousands of no-subject, blank emails. 500 of them come every hour, I can’t stop them.”

The report adds that other users could have been a victim of the bug as well.

Google later issued a statement saying, “Due to a technical glitch, some email addresses on public webpages appeared too prominently in search results. We’ve fixed the issue and are sorry for any inconvenience caused.”

All-in-all a bizarre Friday for Google and Gmail users.

Micromax Canvas Knight A350 with octa-core CPU, 16MP camera rumoured to be coming this February

Micromax Canvas Knight A350 with octa-core CPU, 16MP camera rumoured to be coming this February
Upcoming Micromax flagship

MMXNewscaster – the person that brings the latest scoop on Micromax smartphones – has given a sneak peek of its alleged next flagship device. The upcoming flagship called the Canvas Knight A350 Gold aka Canvas 6 is expected to launch in February. The tweet reads, “Micromax Canvas Knight A350 GOLD. 2 GHz Octa Core, 32 GB, 2GB,16MP,5MP,5″ FHD. 7.3mm.” It is also known to be among the handsets that will mark Micromax’s entry in Russia. The Canvas Knight is reportedly already unveiled in Russia.

The next gen Canvas gets a pretty nifty specs sheet, if the rumour is to be believed, and is ready to take on the likes of the Gionee Elife E7 and Grand 2. The Canvas Knight seems to have a sleek profile with 7.3mm thickness. Apart from white and black colour options, the company also plans to dip the device in the popular gold hue. It’s not surprising as most manufacturers have started churning out their flagships in gold, ever since Apple launched the iPhone 5s.

It’s said to sport a large 5-inch Full HD 1080 display. However, it runs on the rather older Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, and there is no word if it’s upgradeable. Going by the previous rumours, Micromax plans to bring KitKat to its premium lineup, and if it happens to do so, then the Knight seems worthy of the update.

Under the hood, it comes powered by a 2GHz octa-core Mediatek MT6592 processor coupled with 2GB RAM. On the camera front, one can expect a massive 16-megapixel rear snapper and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera with auto focus. Micromax plans to offer 32GB onboard storage, but there is no word on other storage capacities or external memory support yet. It must be noted that all of this remains in the realm of speculation at the moment, but looks like Micromax is bringing a really big gun to the smartphone party.

LG confirms February unveiling for G Pro 2 phablet with rumoured Quad HD display

LG confirms February unveiling for G Pro 2 phablet with rumoured Quad HD display
LG's G Pro
LG has been quite experimental all through 2013, from a refreshingly new design in the G2 to the G Flex with a curved display. Now, it’s all set to flag off 2014 in style with its largest handset yet. The company’s widely speculated successor to the Optimus G Pro is finally official. In a press statement, LG has confirmed to the Korean media that it will launch the G Pro 2 in February. However, the company hasn’t mentioned if the device will make its debut at the Mobile world Congress held in Barcelona between February 24 and 27, though this is the likely event for LG to showcase its next-gen display technology for smartphones.

Incidentally, the LG Optimus G Pro was announced at the MWC last year. It was later that the company decided to axe “Optimus” and move forward with the “G” series. Check out our Optimus G Pro review for more information on this line of phones by LG. The G Pro 2 will be the company’s largest smartphone yet and is widely expected to have a 5.9-inch Quad HD (1440 x 2560 pixel resolution) display. That would also make it the first LG phone with such a high resolution display and one of the first in the market, if LG manages to launch it soon after the announcement.

The G Pro 2 is also rumoured to come powered by a Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 processor with 3GB RAM, an upgrade to the Snapdragon 600 fitted in its predecessor. The smartphone will reportedly run Google’s latest Android 4.4 KitKat OS with LG’s customisations on top.

LG is also rumoured to include a fingerprint scanner in its premium phones of 2014 including the G Pro 2. The scanner could very well be incorporated into the back-panel buttons of the phone, which was seen in the LG G2. That would put the G2 Pro up against the HTC One Max, which is a 6-inch phablet with a fingerprint scanner, but has a lower-resolution display, albeit a 1080p one.

Samsung, Google to avoid an Apple: Sign deal to cross-license patents

Samsung, Google to avoid an Apple: Sign deal to cross-license patentsA poster with Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 is seen in this file photo. AP
Google and Samsung, which are frequently involved in patent infringement lawsuits but not against each other, announced on Sunday that they have reached a global patent cross-licensing agreement.

The deal covers patents currently owned by the companies, as well as any filed in the next 10 years, the companies said in a release. Financial terms were not disclosed. The companies said the deal “would lead to deeper collaboration on research and development of current and future projects.

By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation,” said Allen Lo, deputy general counsel for patents at Google, in a statement.

Samsung’s Seungho Ahn, head of the company’s intellectual property center, said the deal showed “the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes.

The companies have been at the center of the smartphone patent wars, though more as allies than foes. The majority of the litigation – which has sprawled across three continents, has been between Apple and the various companies involved in making smartphones based on Google’s Android software, including Samsung and Google subsidiary Motorola.

Specs battle: Micromax Canvas Turbo mini A200 vs Lava Iris Pro 30

Specs battle: Micromax Canvas Turbo mini A200 vs Lava Iris Pro 30
Let the face off begin
/Not far behind international brands, the leading Indian smartphone maker Micromax has delivered a mini version of its popular Canvas Turbo. Though the company hasn’t announced the Canvas Turbo mini A200 officially yet, it has quietly slipped in the device on the popular retailer site Flipkart. The phone sports a price tag of Rs 14,490 and has a not-so lucrative specs sheet. However, take a closer look and the specs are almost similar to the newly launched Lava Iris Pro 30. We’ve put both devices in the ring for a quick specs comparison, on paper.

Micromax Canvas Turbo mini A200
Stripped down version of the Canvas Turbo
Stripped down version of the Canvas Turbo
The Turbo mini is clearly a stripped down version of the popular Canvas Turbo. Sporting a smaller 4.7-inch display with lower 720p resolution, its pixel density limits to 312 ppi, similar to the Iris Pro 30. The similarities don’t end here; the Turbo mini supports 4GB onboard storage, microSD card slot up to 32GB, 8MP rear snapper and most of the connectivity options. It is slightly lighter than the Iris Pro 30 at 111 grams, but slightly thicker at 7.9 grams. There’s a better-sounding 5MP front camera.

The mini is powered by a quad-core MediaTek MT6582 processor that clock at 1.3GHz, coupled with 1GB of RAM. All of this is fuelled by an 1800 mAh battery that promises to deliver up to 6.5 hours of talk time, but sounds slightly small to us. However, we can confirm this only when we’ve tested the device in our loop test.

Lava Iris Pro 30

Light and sleek

Light and sleek
Strikingly similar to the Turbo mini, the Lava Iris Pro 30 falls shy of the phablet category with its 4.7-inch HD display. To make the 720p display more attractive, Lava has added in some improvements such an OGS technology and Content Adaptive Backlight Control (CABC) along with Gorilla Glass protection. The device is light at 114 grams and a mere 7.5mm thick and the soft powder-coated body is a delight to hold and feels nothing like the cheap plastic phones we have become used to seeing from Indian companies.
On the camera front, we are a little disappointed with the 8MP BSI rear snapper, especially considering the price, but as you can see in our first look at the phone, it’s more than passable. It also includes with dual LED flash and a 3MP front-facing camera.  Under the hood, it is powered by the ubiquitous 1.2GHz Mediatek MT6589 quad-core CPU and 1GB RAM, along with a PowerVR SGX544 GPU. The device comes with a disappointing 4GB onboard storage that can be expanded further up to 32GB via microSD card slot, something we also find in sub-Rs 10,000 smartphones these days. The connectivity options include 3G, Bluetooth v4.0 and GPS.

Take a look at the comparison table below:
Not much separates these two
Not much separates these two
The bottom line
A glance at the above sheet and you will instantly notice that both phones have almost similar specs. But we don’t know what panel has been used for the display by Micromax and whether it has any screen protection.  Both devices are incredibly light and sleek, though, which seems to be the flavour of the season for Indian phone makers. While the Turbo mini is lighter at 111 grams, the Iris Pro 30 is thinner, so it’s all square in this regard.

The Iris Pro gets a slightly better battery and processor, which could be its biggest advantage. The Canvas Turbo mini has a 20 percent smaller battery, which would be a huge factor in the buying decision. On the other hand, it does have a better sounding front-facing camera, which always works with youngsters. Though launched at Rs 15,999, the Iris Pro is selling online for as low as Rs 15,499, and we expect it will have a lower price tag in the market. The Canvas Turbo mini is listed online at Rs 14,490 and its final price will also vary depending on which retailer or store you buy it from.

The Iris Pro 30 is a big deal for Lava as it’s their first premium phone, which has been designed by the in-house team. On the other hand, the Canvas Turbo mini is a heavily toned-down version of the Canvas Turbo, which might have gone through just a little more liposuction than was needed, especially in the battery department. There’s not much to separate these two; the Canvas Turbo mini might have a better chance because of its lower price, but the Iris Pro has great look and feel, something that’s rare to see among Indian phones.

Samsung sold record 86 mn phones in Q4, well ahead of Apple: report

Samsung sold record 86 mn phones in Q4, well ahead of Apple: report
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is seen in this product photo.
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd sold a record 86 million smartphones in the fourth quarter and widened its lead over Apple Inc even after the US firm reached a new iPhone sales high, data from research firm Strategy Analytics showed.

Samsung took 29.6 percent of the global smartphone market in the fourth quarter, ahead of Apple’s 17.6 percent, as strong low-end market growth led by Chinese vendors continued to shake up the smartphone industry, the data showed.

Apple sold a record 51 million iPhones in the year-end quarter although its market share slipped from the previous year’s 22 percent, as Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and Lenovo Group Ltd rose to become the world’s No.3 and No.4 respectively.

Huawei sold 16.6 million smartphones and Lenovo sold 13.6 million, each taking 5.7 percent and 4.7 percent of the market.

“There is clearly now more competition coming from the second-tier smartphone brands. Huawei, LG Electronics and Lenovo each grew their smartphone shipments around two times faster than the global industry average,” Strategy Analytics analyst Linda Sui said.

“Samsung and Apple will need to fight hard to hold off these and other hungry challengers during 2014.” For the entire 2013, global smartphone shipments grew 41 percent to reach a record 990 million. Samsung sold 319.8 million units to take 32.2 percent, up from 30.4 percent in 2012.

Apple sold 153.5 million iPhones with a 15.5 percent market share.

JBL Pulse: Fancy lighting effects don’t make up for average sound quality


Bluetooth speakers make the perfect companion for that weekend getaway and of late, we’ve seen a flurry of new models sporting NFC compatibility. We’ve already reviewed a bunch of them, right from the Creative Airwave HD to the Jabra Solemate mini. Today, we have a new contender from JBL called Pulse. This Bluetooth speaker system promises to be feast for the senses – both aurally and visually. With a multitude of lighting effects and patterns, does the Pulse sound as good as it looks? Let’s find out.
Design and features
The JBL Pulse is designed like a capsule or an elongated grenade if you will. Both ends are encased in a protective rubber housing, that’s resilient enough to withstand the elements. The speaker can be placed upright or on its side. There are a bunch of physical buttons on the top for ‘Power’ and ‘Volume’ while the rest of the buttons are capacitive. One side of the ring lets you control the intensity of the lights while the other lets you change the colour. You can also randomize the colours if you want with one of the buttons.
The Pulse is easy to carry around and build to last

The bottom portion houses the NFC chip. This lets you quickly pair your NFC-enabled device with the speaker. The horizontal rubber footrest also houses the microUSB port, auxiliary-in and an indicator for the battery level. This comes in handy to check the battery when charging the Pulse as well. The Pulse houses two 40mm full-range drivers and there’s even a provision for a bass port for a punchier low end. None of these things are actually visible through the metal mesh though, surrounding the speaker.

The audio drivers in the Pulse have a frequency range of 105Hz to 20,000Hz and a signal-to-noise ratio of 80dB. There’s a built amplifier as well to boost the audio being transmitted over the air. There’s also built-in battery which promises 5-hours of music playback, with the lights on. The one feature that’s missing is a built-in microphone, which is commonly found on other Bluetooth speakers. The package contains a charging cable and power adapter. There’s no stereo cable or carrying pouch bundled along. Another feature that’s missing is the ability to connect to multiple sources at the same time, something we really liked in the Airwave HD.
The lights and other functions can be controlled from here
The lights and other functions can be controlled from here

Pairing the speaker with your phone is a hassle-free experience. The audio performance differs greatly from phone to phone however. The Pulse sounded terrible when paired with a XOLO Q900 but sounded better when paired with something like the HTC One. Of course, the audio quality is at its best when you use the wired auxiliary connection. The dual drivers manage to produce good highs and mids but the lower frequency range is severely lacking. There’s no audible slam in the bass, which takes the whole fun out of listening to trance or hip hop. The audio also tends to get shrill and muddy at very high volumes. The built-in amp does a fairly good job of boosting the volume which does give you room-filling sound, but overall audio quality is average at best.
Some additional connectors are placed on the side
Some additional connectors are placed on the side

The highlight of this speaker however is the light show and you can have some good fun with this. You can choose between different patterns and colours or just randomize them. The intensity of the light can also be adjusted and you can switch it off altogether if needed. With the lights on, we managed to get close to the rated 5-hours of battery life. You could optionally switch it off and essentially double the battery life. Unfortunately, the light doesn’t really emanate too much from the speaker so if you were thinking about turning your room into a dance floor with the Pulse, you’re in for a disappointment. After a while, the light show stops being entertaining, as is the case with most novelty features on products.

At a price tag of Rs 14,990, the JBL Pulse feels quite expensive for what is essentially a pretty average sounding Bluetooth speaker with some lights. Features like a built-in microphone and the ability to pair multiple devices are also missing. It seems like the light show is merely a distraction from the otherwise average audio quality. A good (and much cheaper) alternative to the Pulse which has all its features is the Jabra Solemate mini. It’s highly portable and delivers very good audio quality for its size.

Kerala woman kills herself over ‘obscene’ Facebook messages

Kerala woman kills herself over ‘obscene’ Facebook messages
Representational image. Reuters
The death of a 27-year-old woman in Kerala is being blamed on obscene Facebook posts and the failure of local police to act on her complaint about them.
 The victim, identified as Vijitha, was found hanging in her residence in Cheranaloor near Kochi by her husband on Sunday night.
 New Indian Express report quoted an unnamed neighbour of the victim as saying that she had filed a case with the local police around two months back against a man for posting obscene messages about her on Facebook. CNN-IBN quotedunnamed family members as saying that the police hadn’t taken action on the complaint.

The report quoted local police officials as saying that a case was not registered due to lack of evidence and the matter had been settled amicably after the accused, identified as Ratheesh, and she were called to discuss the matter.

“We got an oral complaint, following which we called Ratheesh and Vijitha to the police station. Following which Ratheesh had deleted obscene posts about her from Facebook. It is not correct to say that the police had not taken any action,” G Vidhyadhara Kumar, an official from the Cheranaloor police station, was quoted as saying by the New Indian Express.

The woman had reportedly approached the police seeking a complaint under Section 66 A of the Information Technology Act be filed against the accused. She also filed a petition in the Kerala High Court on 15 January and the police have yet to file their reply in the case.

However, her family has alleged that Ratheesh had been harassing Vijitha with text messages as well. Ratheesh’s family is allegedly involved in a legal battle over a plot of land with the victim’s family.

Round Table: Do the new Nokia Lumia launches hint at a comeback?

Round Table: Do the new Nokia Lumia launches hint at a comeback?
Is Nokia staging a big comeback?
Nokia has seen better days as a phone maker, but the company is in fitter shape than it was last year at this time. Windows Phone has gained a lot more traction and with a move to Microsoft imminent, the company launched the Lumia 1520,Lumia 1320 and Lumia 525 in India and there’s suddenly a brand new Nokia Lumia line-up to entice buyers in India. But does this indicate Nokia is clawing its way back? Or is it a case of too little, too late? We weigh in.

Shruti Dhapola
Nokia has had new launches such as the Lumia 1520 and the 1320, but the company is still far from being back in the game. In fact, if one were to look at the Q4 sales numbers for Lumia devices, it doesn’t look good at all. Lumia sales actually fell from 8.8 million in Q3 to 8.2 million in Q4 of 2013. Worryingly for Nokia, both feature and smartphone sales are continuing to drop. The Asha series doesn’t seem to have done much better either.

The other problem with Nokia, atleast in India, appears to be the price. Premium Lumia phones such as the 1020 and the 1520 still remain priced rather highly (above the Rs 40,000 bracket) in India, which doesn’t isn’t going to help push up the volume, given the number of cheap Androids floating around. Nokia’s Lumia phones, while they are quality devices, still appear to be too expensive for people to buy, thanks to the Android craze.

Android devices with a 13 megapixel camera and quad-core CPU are available for under Rs 15,000 in some cases. For many users, budget trumps quality and they would rather go for something affordable and that offers them the latest features. A Lumia device with an excellent 8 megapixel camera might not appeal simply because in user perception, a 13 megapixel camera is better.

Roydon Cerejo
Nokia’s recent announcements at Nokia World in Dubai leads me to believe that the company does have a chance to make a comeback. The high-end segment is still tough to crack but they have a good shot at the mainstream and budget segment, a place where Android still struggles. Their plan to do away with all handsets with 512MB RAM could not have come sooner. This was a huge issue with their otherwise good handsets like the Lumia 720 and the 520. The RAM issue limited users further from accessing the already small list of popular apps on the app store. By bumping up the RAM, users can now play high-end games on something as inexpensive as a Lumia 525. Apart from the resolution difference and a lower frame rate, games look identical on a Rs 40,000 Lumia too. You cannot even dream of something like this on an Android phone at that price range. And finally, Nokia needs to focus their efforts on more handsets like the Lumia 525 instead of wasting their time and money on something as irrelevant as a Windows RT tablet.

Nikhil Subramaniam
There are signs of a comeback by Nokia, but it’s still too early to confirm the trend. New launches will certainly help, but Nokia needs to bring more hardware arsenal in all price points and all segments. By that we mean concentrating on bridging the gap between the two ends of its portfolio. Right now there’s a wide chasm between the 6-incher Lumia 1520 and the small 4-inch Lumia 520, in terms of the price. In the Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 range, the Lumia 625 is the most recent and arguably the most popular as well, with the Nokia Lumia 720 and 620 failing to make a big dent in the market. This is largely due to the lack of appealing features for this segment. While the high-end Lumias have great cameras, and the Lumia 520 and 525 marry good price with decent specs, the mid-range Lumias have nothing especially attractive about them (in terms of price or feature set), which makes them far weaker propositions than Android phones in this range.

Of course, there’s also the question of ecosystem, where Windows Phone has been lagging ever since it debuted. While more recently high-profile apps such as Instagram, Vine and Path have made it to the platform, there is a glaring lack of exclusive apps. Not that Nokia can single-handedly convince developers to do more for the platform but there’s a great need to go beyond publishing healthy quarterly results to convince app makers of the merits of the OS. Yes, Windows Phone is on the rise, but developers need encouragement not just from the market, but also manufacturers. So it will certainly not help that Nokia has not quashed talk about Normandy, the Android phone. This will make developers wonder whether they really have to make a Windows Phone version of their app, when an Android Nokia phone is on the way.

Have your say. What do you think of the new Nokia Lumia phones and how they will affect the company’s chances in the market?

Apple's iOS 7 now on 80 percent of compatible mobile devices

Continues to be world's most popular mobile operating system

Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer revealed on Monday during a conference call with analysts that iOS 7, the latest version of Apple's mobile platform, is now running on 80 percent of compatible devices. The milestone represents a two percent uptick since December, and prompted Oppenheimer to mistakenly proclaim it "the most popular operating system in the world," unintentionally dropping the qualifier "mobile."
MixPanel records slightly higher adoption rate
MixPanel records slightly higher adoption rate

By comparison, the most recent version of Android -- version 4.4, known as KitKat -- is only only 1.5 percent of Android devices. Because Android manufacturers do not release actual end-user sales figures, it is difficult to ascertain what percentage of devices could run KitKat.

A major stumbling block in the Android community, even with compatible devices, is that updates are usually distributed by carriers -- who generally delay or block updates, even involving security fixes, preferring users upgrade to newer devices or spending months testing updates to Android against the company's preferred "skin" and software, which must also be compatible. As a result, few Android devices ever get more than one software update in the course of their useful lives.

By Electronista Staff

6 Sailfish Features That Android And iOS Lack

 Sailfish, a new mobile operating system is posing grave challenge to the monopoly of Android and iOS. The OS developed by a group of engineers from Nokia have introduced their platform into the new Jolla phones. Sailfish is primarily a gesture based mobile platform based on the Nokia’s Meego, a Linux-based free mobile operating system project, which didn’t take off. Here are the powers punches that the new rival for Android and iOS packs as listed by Times Of India.

#6 Multitasking first

The new OS gives priority to the applications that are currently running and displays them on the home screen rather than the bunch of widgets and apps that overwhelmthe display. The multi-tasking menu of Sailfish is similar to BlackBerry 10 OS with small square windows for each app. Right below the list of currently running apps, one can get the quick access to Dialer, Messaging, Browser and Camera.

Google Glass adds style, prescription lenses

Google employee Katie Matsushima models the new Split style of Google Glass frames.
Google employee Katie Matsushima models the new Split style of Google Glass frames.
  • Google says it will add Google Glass options for prescription glasses
  • Lenses will be available in a set of newly designed frames that will cost $225
  • Move is the latest attempt by Google to make its connected eyewear more fashionable
  • But the Internet-enabled glasses still aren't welcome everywhere
(CNN) -- Google Glass's vision for its future is coming into focus.
On Tuesday, Google announced it will add Google Glass options for prescription glasses, its most requested feature since it launched the face-mounted computers last year.
The move is the latest attempt by Google to make the beta version of its connected eyewear more fashionable and consumer friendly before it releases the product to the broader public toward the end of 2014.
The prescription lenses will be available in a set of newly designed, fashion-conscious frames that will cost $225 each. This new Titanium line will include four frame shapes called curve, thin, split and bold. The outside of the Titanium frames is gray, but there are four options for subtle accent colors inside the frames. Google is also adding three options for sunglasses designed by Maui Jim, which will cost $150 each.
Google Glass: view from a firefighter
Judge tosses Google Glass driving ticket
The actual Glass hardware, which can shoot video and projects Internet content such as e-mails, walking directions and sports scores onto a tiny screen above the wearer's right eye, is staying the same for now. It was last updated in October, when the team made sure the design was modular and could attach to the right side of the Titanium glass frames.
You still can't quickly pop Google Glass off one frame and onto another, because the process requires undoing a small screw. While the task is easy enough, the system is not meant for frequent frame changes. Google is betting that people will be so comfortable wearing Google Glass that they won't have to choose between prescription glasses and Google Glass.
"We're going to reach some day, hopefully it will be soon, where people will wonder 'why would I want traditional glasses? They don't do X, Y or Z,' " said Google Glass Product Director Steve Lee.
Fusing Google Glass with prescription lenses could lead to its own set of problems, however, because wearers can't take them off without limiting their vision, and the Internet-enabled glasses aren't welcome everywhere.
Earlier this month, an Ohio man was questioned by local and federal law enforcement for wearing his Google Glass during a movie. The authorities suspected he was secretly recording the film until he explained the eyewear was turned off and connected to a pair of prescription frames. (He had purchased the custom frames for $600 through a third party.)
Driving while wearing Glass is also a thorny issue in many states, including California, where a woman was ticketed last year for wearing the device while behind the wheel. The citation was dismissed in court, but since many people need their prescription glasses to drive, there could be an uptick in the number of motorists sporting Google Glass.
Google's four new Google Glass frame styles can hold prescription lenses. Google's four new Google Glass frame styles can hold prescription lenses.
Google is confident these types of issues will be resolved as Glass becomes more common place and people learn to recognize when the device is turned on or off. Currently there is no indicator light but when the device is on, other people can see a faint light on the Glass screen.
The company hopes venues and states hostile to Glass might even embrace it down the road. For example, there's a Glass app called Drive Safe Google Glass that can wake drivers up if it detects they are falling asleep. That might appeal to law enforcement. Theaters could embrace the technology as a way to deliver close captioning for movies to certain audience members.
"I think you need to give the technology a chance to breathe and evolve," said Google Glass spokesperson Chris Dale.
Prescription glasses can be pricey without insurance, so Google has struck a deal with vision benefits company Vision Service Provider to add coverage for wearers of the new specs. Insurance reimbursements will extend only to the frames and prescription lenses and can't be used toward the Glass device itself, which still costs $1,500.
The new frames were designed in-house by Google employees on the Glass team, despite earlier rumors of a possible partnership with hip eyewear retailer Warby Parker. Going forward, the company does hope to work with third-party eyewear companies so partners can create their own Google Glass compatible products.
Even with the regular-looking new frames, someone wearing Google Glass still stands out. In the future, it might be possible to shrink the hardware down so that it's more subtle, but Google doesn't necessarily think that's what all users will want. More modular designs and partnerships with third parties could expand the options so that a Glass wearer could decide between wearing an obvious look or going undetected.
"Sometimes I want to go out and I want to be seen, I want people to talk to me about Glass. I've actually found glass to be the most social experience ever," said Lee. "But other times I just want to go about my business, stay low key."