Google Glass Could Soon Get Device Locking, Music Player And ‘Boutique’ App Store, Firmware Reveals

Google Glass is still a pre-release product that’s fairly rough around the edges, compared to a lot of shipping consumer hardware, but new clues (via Slashgear) from the latest firmware update suggest that there are a number of practical additions coming to the device. Those include a Glass app store dubbed “Boutique,” which would be a welcome addition for app discovery, as well as a locking mechanism that would let it be locked down when not in use using a swipe gesture code combo.

The lock feature is something Google has discussed in the past as a means for keeping user data private, so that’s not a complete surprise, but we may see it sooner rather than later. The Glass Boutique, which would offer up Glassware software in one central location directly accessible from the device likewise isn’t surprising, either. Still, this is the first time it’s been mentioned, and indications are that it will offer access to both Mirror API titles like those currently available and native SDK apps that run on Glass itself.

New cards are also on the way, which help with media playback. There’s a music player with all the typical playback controls as well as artist and track information, and there’s a note about a video player, too. volume control for the bone-conduction speaker that Google uses to deliver audio without earbuds is also now included in the code, and that feature’s even functional with a little extra hacking.

All of these changes are essentially key elements of existing mobile device platforms, like iOS and Android for smartphones. Which isn’t to downplay them; they should result in big functionality improvements for Glass users when they do arrive. The point is that they illustrate just how far off from being a shipping product Glass still is. Glass is said to be headed for a 2014 release, and even these features are likely just the start of what needs to happen between now and then, so it’s nice to see them appearing even in prototype form.