Here’s a bit of good news for owners of Google’s eyewear as well as those interested in purchasing one when it comes out. As of the latest update, Google Glass will no longer require tethering to a smartphone in order to have an Internet connection, sparing users, as well as their wallets, some amount of grief.
It was reported last February that Google Glass, in the absence of a WiFi connection, would need to be tethered to smartphones to keep connected to the Internet in order to function properly. Although there have been reports of some smartphones not requiring tethering, majority of the devices tether to Glass via Bluetooth, which incurs additional carrier charges.
Google is now rolling out an update to Glass’ XE9 software that would let the companion Android app transfer data to and from Glass, bypassing tethering methods and charges. A new status icon has been added to the app to indicate the status of the data flow to and from the associated smartphone.
The feature is still too new for carriers to react to, but it won’t be surprising if they protest it. With the expected commercial launch still a good half-year away, there is still time for parties involved to weigh in on the issue and reach a solution that will hopefully not involve turning Glass users into cash cows.