Latest Google Glass update has a secret feature: it can play music (update: $85 stereo earbuds incoming)

Google Glass secretly scores music playback support thanks to sneaky devs

If you thought the latest Glass update was designed solely to help with your schedule and commute, you'd be mistaken. The sneaky devs in Mountain View quietly added support for Google Play Music in the XE11 upgrade, laying the groundwork for a future feature announcement. After sideloading the app onto Glass, a new "listen to" voice command appears on the the hardware's home screen, a feature that Glass head of Marketing Ed Sanders tells USA Today it is "important to have" for the headset. Right on time, the Glass team has posted a new Explorer Story video featuring music producer Young Guru explaining how Glass can help him discover new sounds to sample, showing off playback and the existing Android Sound Search feature.

By uttering the new phrase and speaking the name of an album, artist, playlist or song, the company's guinea pigs can listen to tunes they've uploaded to Google Play Music or those available through All Access, provided they have a subscription. Once a user confirms their choice and the music starts, a card with album art and playback controls (Pause, Play, Previous, Next, Stop, Radio and Volume) is pinned to the wearable's timeline. As you might imagine, the audio quality through the bone conduction speaker isn't spectacular, and while the device's forthcoming earbud may offer some improvement, the foreseeable musical future of Glass Explorers is in mono.

Update: Google has informed USA Today and the New York Times that a set of earbud headphones will be available next month for $85, which you can spot in the video after the break. It also appears that the Google Play Music tricks discovered will be officially unveiled later today, and probably won't require any sideloading shenanigans.

Latest Google Glass update has a secret feature it can play music update $85 stereo earbuds incoming