3 Useful Utilities for Google Glass - dummies

3 Useful Utilities for Google Glass

Several Google Glass utility apps help make your life a little bit easier. Here are a couple of examples of utility apps for you to consider.

Word Lens

The Word Lens app is another cool example of what you can do with Glass. If you have text that’s printed in another language, you can translate it into your preferred language. (By the way, the text in the figure means Welcome to the future.) All you have to do is hold your head still while you look at the printed page; after a few seconds, you see the translation in the top-right corner of the screen.


The text needs to be as clear as possible for the Word Lens app to translate the text successfully.

You can get the best translation results when the text is printed on a laser printer, in an easily recognizable font such as Arial, and at a fairly large size.

The app is self-contained, so you can translate text without using an active Wi-Fi connection to the Internet.

You can translate text between English and the following languages:

  • French

  • German

  • Italian

  • Portuguese

  • Spanish


If you find that you need to time people on a certain task, such as completing a test, you don’t need to pull out your smartphone and keep checking the time periodically. Instead, you can install the Glass Stopwatch app and keep the timer in front of your face so you can be ready to take action as soon as time’s up.

Here’s a how to use the Stopwatch app after you’ve installed it on Glass:

  1. Tap the touchpad and then choose Set Timer from the menu.

  2. Select the timer measurement: Hours, Minutes, or Seconds.

  3. Set the number of hours, minutes, or seconds the timer will run, depending on the measurement type you set in Step 2.

  4. Start the stopwatch by choosing Start from the menu.

    You can work on other tasks on Glass while the timer is running. When the timer reaches zero, the speaker sounds an alarm.

  5. Go back to the Home screen; swipe to the left, tap the Timer card, and then choose Stop from the menu.


Weather Alert

When you’re out and about, you may want to know when bad weather is coming your way. Even on a clear day, you may need to check the air quality in your area. The Weather Alert app from Roll Innovation is a good app for getting up-to-date information right on the Glass screen as alerts are broadcast.

The Weather Alert app uses National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data, so you can use the app only in U.S. states and territories. Also, not all areas of the United States are monitored, so contact Roll Innovation to get the latest coverage map for your area.

When a weather alert is issued, you see the alert card on the timeline screen, showing the type of alert, a map of the affected area, and the duration of the alert.

This card presents only a summary of information, so if you want to listen to the entire alert as broadcast on NOAA weather radio, tap the touchpad and then choose Read Aloud from the menu. You hear the report through the Glass speaker.