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Google updates Glass with security, Hangouts & a wink

Google updates Glass with security, Hangouts & a wink

Google Glass wearable computer also gets new music, YouTube features and an iOS app

Google Tuesday unveiled a software update for its wearable computer, Glass, adding security tools, Hangouts and a YouTube feature.

"You've shared your wishes, we've made our list and checked it twice, and now we're closing out 2013 with some of your most popular requests," wrote Google in a blog post on Google+ today.

The software update for the wearable computer is the 12th and last one for 2013. Earlier updates added musical features, movie and restaurant information and emergency alerts.

Google Glass, still in a testing phase, is expected to be generally available next year, missing the initial plan of shipping the technology by the end of this year.

According to the blog post, the security update gives Glass users the ability to lock their screen. "Just like with your laptop or phone, no one can use your locked Glass until you enter your secret Glass handshake using taps and swipes," Google wrote, noting that the screen lock can be activated in Settings.

The latest update also adds a new Hangout feature designed to let users chat with their friends, message multiple friends at once or send photo messages. To enable Hangouts, users can update their preferences under MyGlass.

The update also makes it easier for users to get their favorite Glass-made videos onto YouTube.

"Some of the videos you record through Glass are pure gold, and worthy of sharing with other people," Google noted. "You can now upload those must-share moments by enabling the YouTube Glassware on MyGlass. Once you're done recording, either tap on the video and swipe to the YouTube share card, or say "ok glass, share with YouTube."

The December update also adds an iOS app for Glass, lets users create a radio station based on their listening history, and even take a picture with just the wink of an eye -- literally.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

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