• 04.16.13

Google Releases Glass Tech Specs, Bans Developers From Using Ads And Charging For Apps

The glasses will work on any Bluetooth-capable phone, but Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich will be needed to use GPS and send SMS.

Google Releases Glass Tech Specs, Bans Developers From Using Ads And Charging For Apps

Google has released a briefer-than-brief page on the specs of its wearable tech device, also known as Google Glass. As well as that, there are some pretty stringent new guidelines for developers, which can only mean a win-win situation for Glass users–that is, normal people like you or I.


No advertising on Glass client apps, no charging fees for Glass, says the Terms of Service. Although this may not always be the case, Google is making damn sure that Google Glass users are protected from more rapacious app developers.

The Verge also reports that Mountain View has decreed that developers are not allowed to distribute their client software anywhere but through the relevant Google Mirror API channel, “unless approved in writing by Google.”

Now, let’s look at the specs’ specs.

The headset (I’m loath to call them glasses for obvious reasons) has a battery that should last all day, although some services, such as Hangouts and recording video will drain the power more quickly than others. There’s a hi-res display equivalent to watching a 25-inch HD screen from eight feet away, and the device sports a 5MP camera for stills and 720p for videos.

Headphones are, as previously reported, bone conduction tranducer, and Glass supports both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. There’s 16MP of memory, of which 12GB is free, and syncs with Google cloud storage.

The device is charged with a Micro USB cable and charger, which the firm suggests will “preserve long and prosperous glass use” more than other Micro USB chargers. Although compatible with any Bluetooth-toting phone, only a smartphone using Android 4.0.3, or Ice Cream Sandwich, will allow the MyGlass app, now live in the Google Play store, to work. That, of course, is the thing that gives users GPS and SMS messaging.


Glass already has its own gaggle of VCs, the Google Glass Collective, which has formed in order to invest in promising Glass-related apps and ideas.

[Image by Flickr user jurvetson]

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.