I mentioned in the previous post that the packaging for Glass had a very similar feel to packaging for the many Apple products I’ve unboxed over the years. Unfortunately, setting up Glass for initial use showed how this is no Apple product.
Now, before the Android fans jump all over me for having taken in too much Apple Kool-Aid over the years, I’ve used Android phones and iPhones and have always found iPhones more friendly and intuitive. Of course, Google is buried deep in the Android universe, so it wasn’t surprising that the first setup felt like I needed to work at it more, much like set up on my first Android phone felt. (To be fair, it has been a couple of years since I’ve set up an Android phone, so maybe things have gotten smoother and I don’t want to unfairly judge, so feel free to weigh in on the comments section if you have more recent experience than I.)
Because I’m using an iPhone and not an Android-based unit, I needed to complete the set up via my computer rather than what sounds like a slick app called MyGlass. That app is available only for Android and does more than just simplifying the set up, but it’s absent in the iOS universe.
During set-up, I simply had to sign in on a website with my Google account and everything was instantly integrated when possible, an amazing feature that I adore about Google and all of its products.
After viewing a couple of short videos on how to wear and adjust Glass and how to tap and swipe on the trackpad temple, I felt like I was ready.
You set up Glass through a series of swipes and taps to get you to the correct card or card bundle. (If you use Google Now, then you’ll understand — Glass feels like a mutant version of Now. If you’re not using Google Now, go set it up right after you finish reading this blog post because it’s a fantastic addition to your phone, whether Android or Apple based.)
Glass needs an Internet connection, of course, and your home wi-fi network is the easiest, fastest and cheapest option when you’re around the house. I connected to my home wi-fi network system by creating a QR code on the website and then pointing Glass at my computer screen. That worked very well after I eliminated a user error; Glass detected the QR code quickly and decoded it so it knew how to join the local wi-fi network. Trying to aim Glass at the QR code was a bit surreal – I felt somewhat disconnected as I tried to look through Glass instead of at it.
The user error I mentioned resulted in my first attempt at connecting to wi-fi ending in failure because I typed the network name wrong. The letters were all there, but the capitals weren’t. The second attempt went very smoothly. Of course, at one point I was trying to check something on Glass about the wi-fi network and with a quick swipe in the wrong direction and an over-eager tapping finger, I had Glass “forget” my home network. OK, back to the web for a QR code to scan with Glass.
Other cards built into Glass allow you to adjust for having the device turn off and on based on taking them off and putting them back on. You also can adjust the “head-up on” setting and the volume. The head-up feature allows you to tip your head and look up to turn on the screen instead of having to tap the side bar. Combined with voice recognition, that feature offers a truly hands-free experience. The default angle is looking up 30 degrees, which seems just enough to keep accidental tipping to a minimum while not making you look so far up that you seem to be searching the clouds for your data.
Once you’ve set up Glass, information about the device and your location are available on the Glass website, plus you can add wi-fi networks, connect your Gmail and Google+ accounts and add up to 10 contacts (the most available for interaction via Glass now). I understand having limited contacts for now, as this is still the explorer stage of the device, but I still haven’t figured out why Glass thinks I’m at my neighbor’s house.
One nice feature is that when you add a contact, you can then click on their card on the website and set the default email addresses and phone number by which you wish to interact with them.
The most time-consuming – and fun – part of set up is digging into the Glassware tab on the website. It’s what most people would call an “app store.” There’s enough to write about on just that subject, so watch for a subsequent blog post talking about what apps are available and my first experiences with the ones I installed.
There’s another tab on the Glass website for “Explorers” that takes you to an exclusive online community where people can talk about their experiences with Glass, Glassware and more. I look forward to visiting there often to learn and connect. I already have found another invaluable resource in the Glass Explorers community on Google+.
The last bit of setting up I had to do was connecting Glass to my iPhone via Bluetooth. It was a bit of a hunt and tap scenario to find the right card and tap through in the right way to get the two devices talking to each other. I can foresee some uninitiated users finding that sort of connection process frustrating. I’m an early adopter, a quick learner and can usually find my way around devices intuitively. That wasn’t the case this time and I had to do a quick Google search on my computer to verify exactly what I needed to do to get Bluetooth connectivity running. If Google is listening, I suggest better instructions or walk-throughs on the help website. Again, to be fair, maybe a lot of this is easier with an Android phone and the MyGlass app.
Within about 30 minutes, I got through it all, announced my success, and soon was no longer wearing Glass because my kids and wife wanted to try it! Below is the first picture taken of me (by my oldest daughter) while trying out Glass. “OK Glass, take a picture” is a simple command that most people will quickly grasp and more than likely want to try. So I suspect this is just the first of many #throughglass pictures of me taken by others who want to see what all the fuss is about.
Coming next: Glassware and then some thoughts on my first experience with Glass in public.