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In Brief

google glass angled
photo: Google

Following earlier news that Glass with Diane von Furstenberg frames is now available, Google announced that Google Glass is available outside of the U.S. for the first time. Glass fans in the U.K. can now purchase the wearable display online for a cost of 1,000 pounds (US $1,701.34). Google isn’t calling this a consumer launch, even though the offer is good for any U.K. resident over the age of 18. Instead, the company is expanding the beta and all buyers will be part of the Glass Explorer program to help provide feedback to Google.

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In Brief

Google Glass DVF
photo: DVF

Announced last month, the new Diane von Furstenberg frames for Google Glass are now available. Google announced the news early on Monday morning through its Glass Explorer Google+ page. While you can purchase the frames and shades directly from Google, anyone can purchase Glass and the frames online at Net-A-Porter, with the bundle costing $1,800. That’s an expansion from the Google-only sales of the wearable computer. Will Google get many takers at this price? It’s not likely but at least those who do opt-in for Glass will look a bit more fashionable with the DVF frames.

In Brief

Google music search and play

Google could already help you find music or an artist by searching the web. Now it can open up your music app on Android and start playing those tunes. TechCrunch noticed a new update from Google announcing the feature, which is exclusive to Android for now. When you search for music on Google, the results will also include one-touch links to your installed music apps including Play Music, YouTube, Spotify, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and Rdio. The function likely takes advantage of app intents in Android paired with deep linking so I’m not expecting to see it in iOS until iOS 8 arrives with wider support for apps to “talk” to each other.

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In Brief

facebook beta windows phone
photo: Microsoft

Microsoft continues to refine the Facebook experience on Windows Phone with both a standard and beta version of the social networking app available. The latest beta software, version 5.3, adds a key function previously missing: Video uploads. Windows Phone 8 or 8.1 handset owners can download the beta to test video uploads — you can still keep the generally available version too — while also gaining better app performance and design improvements Microsoft has added. The app is looking better all the time, although it certainly has a different design when compared to other platforms; not necessarily a bad thing if you like the look of Windows apps.

Micromax Windows Phone

Now that Microsoft has eliminated the cost of Windows licensing on devices smaller than 9-inches, expect more handset makers to try out the software in new phones. Micromax is doing just that with a pair of low-cost handsets for India. Read more »

In Brief

Fitbit Force on wrist

You generally need an iPhone or Android handset if you want a smartwatch or health tracker, because most of these don’t work with Windows Phone. But there’s a change coming: Fitbit is working on Windows Phone 8.1 support. WPCentral caught this brief statement on Fitbit’s official support forums: “Fitbit is developing an application for Windows Phone 8.1. Thank you for all your feedback and support!” That’s not much to go on. However, there is a Fitbit app for Windows 8.1 already, so with Microsoft’s new universal app support, it may not take too much effort for the Fitbit team to bring its app to Microsoft handsets. Disclosure: Fitbit is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of Gigaom.

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