For months after Google Glass launched, using the wearable computer with an iPhone was less than ideal. That changed in December when Google launched an iOS version of the MyGlass companion app, allowing Glass owners that preferred iPhones over Androids to get the most out of Glass. Even so, the Android version has more features, leaving those with iPhones wanting more.
A slick, simple hack brings even more information to Glass from an iPhone however. By installing an app meant for smartwatches, you can send all of your iOS notifications to Google Glass. In this picture, for example, a notification from the Line app is appearing in Glass, with personal information edited out, of course.
Google Glass Explorer Caleb Wong figured this out by accident when he started seeing notifications from third-party iOS apps in Glass. It turns out he had installed the MetaWatch manager app to send iOS notifications to his smart watch. Google Glass works in a similar fashion, using a Bluetooth connection to pair with a phone. In a forum post, Wong explains (emphasis his):
“In order to get ALL notifications, which here means ALL! Including non-SMS, non-iMessages notifications, you will need to have an APP whic[sic] connects Bluetooth 4.0 devices and handles notifications. The app somehow forwards all notifications and detected by Glass as message notifications, but the sender will then be the 3rd party app name!
For me, I installed MetaWatch manager. (this was used to connect to my MetaWatch for sync and notifications) I think you can install any which does Bluetooth 4.0 notifications handling app. “
The concept makes total sense and it’s probably something I should have realized early on. It’s probably not ideal as if you’re not careful, you could be overwhelmed by dozens of notifications in Google Glass in short period. That’s not only distracting but will negatively impact the wearable computer’s battery life as well.
While not a perfection solution then, this extends the use of Glass for iPhone owners. My hope is that Google continues to add more functionality to the native MyGlass app for iOS but this is a handy notification workaround for now.