Weekend Wrap-Up: Google to End Glass Explorer Program; Nintendo Will Launch New 3DS in U.S.
Happy Sunday, everyone! It’s Weekend Wrap-Up time, which means you’re about to get all caught up on the biggest tech stories from the past week. Google, Nintendo, and Apple all made headlines in the last seven days — keep reading and I may just tell you why.
Google to End Glass Explorer Program
I don’t know if there’s a device in recent memory that’s been as divisive as Google Glass. The wearable raised all sorts of privacy questions, and, honestly, it made people look like cyborgs. This past week, Google decided to pull the plug on its Glass Explorer “beta” program, but don’t think that means Glass is going away forever — instead, Google is spinning it off into its own business, run by former Apple employee and Nest founder Tony Fadell.
Nintendo had one of its famed “Direct” video streams this past week, and a lot of news poured out as a result. The biggest item, by far, is that the New 3DS is coming to the United States on Feb. 13. It’ll retail for $199 and, in a bizarre twist, Nintendo has elected to sell only the XL version of the handheld. In addition to the new system, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D and Monster Hunter 4 will also be available on Feb. 13.
Apple May Already Be Testing iOS 9
We’re not that far past the launch of iOS 8, but there’s evidence that Apple may already be testing the next version of its mobile operating system. Mobile app marketing platform Fiksu said this past week that it saw nearly 150 identifiers from devices claiming to run iOS 9, which could mean the OS is being used by employees inside Apple. I can’t imagine that we’ll see iOS 9 before the typical fall release window, but stranger things have happened, and Apple doesn’t always do “typical” (remember the iPad 4 release?).
Google Translate Now Incorporates “Word Lens” Technology
Do you remember that fantastic “Word Lens” app by Quest Visual? It could translate words out in the real world — on a sign, for instance. Google snatched that company up back in May of last year, and since then, has been working to incorporate that technology into Google Translate. We’re finally seeing the fruits of that labor, as Translate has been updated to take advantage of that “Word Lens” sorcery in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. If you don’t have the Google Translate app, I strongly suggest you check it out.
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