Slowly, but surely, Google Glass is getting easier and less expensive to use.
On top of the $1,500 that early Glass testers had to drop for the device, the gadget also required a data tethering plan to connect to your smartphone for Internet access. Now with its latest update, Glass can connect to its companion Android app directly to siphon data, without the need for an additional tethering plan, Engadget reports.
Why is this a big deal? The tethering requirement likely wasn’t a problem for early Glass testers, but it poses a problem for the device when it comes to wider adoption. Many smartphone plans already include data tethering, but there are still plenty of inexpensive plans (like pre-paid plans) that don’t support it yet.
We’ve contacted AT&T and Google to confirm this change and will report back if they share more details.
It’s unclear how the iPhone version of Google’s Glass companion app will use the new Internet sharing feature. Android is much less restrictive with how apps use your phone’s core services compared to iOS.
Glass doesn’t connect to cellular networks on its own, instead it connects to your phone through Bluetooth, or directly to Wi-Fi networks. Since Glass serves as an extension of your smartphone, it doesn’t really need its own cellular radios yet. (Eventually, Google will likely be able to fit cellular support into Glass’s svelte frame.)