78 Things You Can Do With Google Glass: A Guide

The things that you can do with Google Glass are absolutely amazing. There are Glass apps for scanning 3D objects, and controlling drones. There are photo apps that take pictures when you wink. But the most amazing apps are apps that will change lives, like the CPR app(11), apps for surgeons (75), and apps to assist the deaf, and the autistic (63).

Without further ado, here’s our list of 78 things you can do with Google Glass. As this expands, we’ll posts updates as necessary. If you find this useful, give this a share on facebook.

(Read: Google Glass – the experience)

78 Things You Can Do With Your Google Glass

With glass, You can:

  1. Navigate somewhere: The built-in navigation app is excellent, with beautiful google maps, and clear directions, making navigation an easier process than on a smartphone, but a host of excellent third-party apps are on the way as well.

  2. Take a photo with a wink (or your voice): You could use the native app to take a photo with your voice, but a number of third party mirror API apps for glass add cool features like instagram-style photos, and the ability to take a photo by winking (I’m not even kidding).

  3. Take videos: Take a video of your kid doing something cute, or your friend doing something stupid, and share it to facebook, Youtube, or just save it and savor it on your phone. Now, if only vine were on Glass.

  4. Videochatting: In some amazing place, and want to share it live? Away from your family? Videochat them in, using Google’s hangouts, and share moments with people around the world. Skype will probably eventually make it onto Glass as well.

  5. Do some Math: Google’s voice search does math quickly, but what if you could take a picture of a complex system of equations, and it was solved before your very eyes in seconds? That technology is on the way. One day soon, math will be “point-and-shoot” simple.

  6. Send a text: Since Glass connects to your phone, sending messages is as easy as dictating them, and specifying the contact.

  7. Send a tweet: Yes, you can tweet by voice as well (recommended hashtag: throughglass). Click to Tweet this post, and help us out.

  8. Play AR games: This is probably the most popular field of development amongst glass developers I’ve met. Everybody wants to bring gaming into the real world, and several cool games involving projections are already in beta.

  9. Go Hiking! The CamelBak app for Glass provides weather reports, reminds you to hydrate, and takes trail photos and video. If they tracked trail stats (calories, elevation, distance) I’d be sold. The app itself could use some work, but given that its from the makers of my favorite water bottle, it was worth mentioning.

  10. Read Your Tweets: Yes, in addition to sending tweets (#7), you can also read tweets on glass, using several third-party twitter apps.

  11. Save a life: CPRGlass interactively walks you through CPR in a worst-case scenario, step by step, and with diagrams. It simultaneously locates the nearest hospital, and dials 911, which is rather brilliant. Note: You shouldn’t rely on an app like this to save your bum. Get certified in CPR (I am).

  12. Remember faces. Medref, a medical app, is the first to offer facial recognition, allowing for easy identity confirmation of patients, but other apps are working on matching names to faces using facebook photos, allowing for less awkard “Hello [oh crap, I forgot their name].

  13. Find out what someone is wearing, and buy it. Have you ever seen somebody wearing something, and said “I want that”? If you have, then either glashion or Fancy (they do the same thing) is the app for you. Simply ask to photograph it using glashion, and say “OK Glass, I want this”, and glass will show you where you can buy it online, or direct you to the nearest store with it in stock”.

  14. Translate your voice. Haggling with a shopkeeper in China? My favorite trick has always been to use pictures and a calculator to communicate, but Google Glass can translate voices, allowing for you to have a conversation (albeit a basic one) with someone in another language.

  15. Translate signs, and documents. Anyone who’s been to a foreign country has walked into somewhere they weren’t supposed to be. I’ve forgotten to pay fees, walked into the wrong room, and gotten lost in the labyrinthine Hutongs of Beijing, so I know just how valuable the ability to translate signs and text is.

  16. Measure your lifts and workouts. An app called Glassfit claims to be the first to offer glass-based workout tracking. Data-driven fitness shows results, and it’s a lot of fun as well. (Read: Review of the Jawbone UP Fitness Band)

  17. Control a drone: Yes indeed. Some home hackers have built a glass app that controls those awesome AR Drones. And yes, there’s a video

  18. Cook something new (with step by step instructions): There are a few cooking apps, but my favorite is Navcook, which offers “turn by turn navigation – for cooking”. The interface is very similar to Glass’s navigation app, but instead it provides cooking instructions for different recipes in real-time. The design is tongue-in-cheek, but it’s actually quite functional.

  19. Share to Tumblr: There is a Tumblr app. That’s all I’ll say.

  20. Read the New York Times: Biblophiles will enjoy this. Read current articles from the Times – photos and all, or just browse the headlines. Kudos to the Times for being the first paper on Glass.

  21. Listen to Spotify: Audiophiles will enjoy this. A spotify app is in the works, and I’m sure there will be a Pandora app someday soon. In addition, music from your phone will most likely be accessible through google play, if you have an Android device.

  22. Get public transportation info (i.e when’s the next train?): There are a few San Francisco specific transportation apps, but within a few months, I guarantee there will be apps for every major transportation in the US, from BART to the MTA.

  23. Explore ornithology: Birds, a birdwatching app for glass, identifies birds on the fly. The noise involved in taking photos, and looking birds up might prove troublesome though.

  24. Share to Google +: As with every social Network, G+ does indeed have an app on Google Glass, it works excellently, thanks to the fact that it’s a google-made app.

  25. Play Frogger: An augmented-reality version of Frogger for glass is available, and I hear it’s a blast. Also available: a version of battleship. Now, if only someone would make a cheating app for Scrabble.

  26. Run a political campaign (VoteGlass): I’ve worked on a few campaigns, and I can tell you that the most tedious, annoying task is logging and entering data on each and every voter. VoteGlass identifies voters by photo, and makes taking down their information very simple. One of the many industries that could use a little Glass.

  27. Check the weather: Obviously, Glass uses Google Now to provide super-accurate up-to-the-minute weather data, and future forecasts.

  28. Post to your blog: Both a WordPress and Blogger app (and even a Tumblr app) are already in existence, meaning you can easily dictate text posts, or post photos and videos. Editing those posts might be a bit challenging though.

  29. Identify a song (like Shazam): What song is that in the background? Using Shazam-like technology, you can idenitify and purchase exactly what you’re hearing (in my case, Ants Marching, by the Dave Matthews Band).

  30. Keep track of flights: Track gate-changes, boarding times, seats, delays, etc. right out of the box. In the future, Jetblue is developing a Glass app to help you find food and open power outlets at the gate, amongst other cool Glass travel apps.

  31. Scan QR codes: Using a little extra software, your Glass camera can be turned into a QR code reader.

  32. Discreetly check your presentation notes: How many times have you forgotten what you were going to say in a presentation? Presidents and TV personalities get teleprompters to avoid the unprofessional look-down-at-your-notes move. An app called yourshow provides teleprompter-like discreet note-checking capabilities to your average presentation. I’ve forgotten things in quite a few presentations, so this is another app where the value is pretty obvious.

  33. Check Your electric car’s charge status. If you happen to have a Tesla Model S, you can check your car’s charge status at any time, using glassTesla. Other providers will probably copy it once Glass becomes more “mainstream”.

  34. Navigate through museums without a map: Massive, disorganized museums like New York’s Metropolitan Museum of art are really hard to navigate with an average map, but apps will be developed (by me or someone else) to make navigating to your favorite painting as easy as navigating to the nearest Mcdonalds.

  35. Go househunting/apartment hunting: Trulia released a pretty stunning Glass app which helps you house-hunt, by directing you to houses near you that meet your specifications. It’s like a real-estate agent in a box.

  36. Pay for stuff: Intuit has developed an app allowed for you to pay simply by taking a picture of a QR code with Glass. It’s an interesting idea, but I’ve got to wonder when mobile payments will catch on, with the high number of technologies already out there.

  37. Check your email: Gmail-only right now, but soon to be expanded.

  38. Check your reddit timeline in real-time: if you so choose, Submit this post on Reddit here.

  39. Find a good place to eat: One particular app, called Glasseats, allows you to search yelp for restaurants by location, genre, and rating, read reviews, and navigate to your choice. I have a feeling this app will be clutch when travelling.

  40. Browse the web: Using a modified Chrome browser, you can look at any website on your glass, like Appstorechronicle.com/subscribe

  41. Expand Your Vocabulary (word of the day): For some reason, every new platform from iGoogle (remember iGoogle?), to iOS, to Android has had a word of the day app within a week of launch. I guess it’s just simple to develop, and valuable as an app. I do enjoy learning a new word daily.

  42. Read magazines and books: Surprisingly, the first magazine to make it to Glass was Elle. More are reportedly on the way. There’s no ereader app yet, but I have high hopes that Oyster will have one developed fast.

  43. Find a girlfriend: Several dating and meetup apps are in beta right now, as well as an icebreaker game, intended to make a first conversation less awkward.

  44. Watch porn: (it’s sad, but true. How web 1.0). Yes, there are indeed some very graphic porn apps (although Google has tried to block them). If you’d like to know more, my friend Darian Lusk wrote a fantastic article about glass porn for CBS News.

  45. Make a documentary: I know of at least one pair of Glass being passed around for a certain group to document their daily lives for a film. I’m not sure if I can publicly note who it is, but the film is going to be quite cool.

  46. Meet new people (icebreaker): As I mentioned in #43, Icebreaker is an app for meeting new people. More details on this interesting little game can be found here.

  47. Become an awesome pool/billiards player: One app in development measures the angle of different balls on a pool table, recommending and modeling a shot with the highest likelihood of success.

  48. Change the temperature (NEST): Despite a few temperature inaccuracies, the NEST thermostat, of which I have two, is really awesome, because it saves on energy costs by intelligently controlling the thermostat. Glass expands on the NEST by allowing you to control the temperature wirelessly, using your voice.

  49. Make a note in Evernote: There are plenty of Glass notetaking apps, but the great thing about Evernote is that it’s cloud-backed, and crossplatform. I’ve always got an idea to write down, so I like the idea of being able to just say it out loud, and have it recorded in my idea book. 

  50. Test your eyesight: There is an app (Google Glass Eye Exam) that tests your eyesight, though I’m skeptical as to its accuracy.

  51. Check your stock portfolio: You can check any stock using Google’s built-in finance features, or monitor your own portfolio more closely using fidelity’s recently released monitoring app.

  52. Compare prices at the supermarket: Price comparison apps are going to be huge for Glass. Soon you’ll be able to walk into a super market, scan the barcode on any item, and find its prices online and at nearby stores. If you’re at walmart, you can even force them into matching the price.

  53. Check CNN stories: CNN is the first TV station I know of to create a news app. It does what you’d expect it to: headlines, article search, reading, etc. No video yet.

  54. Learn and teach in a virtual classroom: Google glass is being used as an online teaching tool by former science teacher Andrew Vanden Heuvel to film videos for his popular science education channel, STEMbites. He does some pretty cool things that are definitely worth a watch, and showcase the potential of Glass in education.

  55. Upload videos to Youtube: Several GLASS apps, like BEAM, allow uploading of video from Glass directly to Youtube.

  56. Buy on Amazon: Yes, you can now buy something on Amazon using only your voice. I don’t really understand the appeal, but if you want to buy something right off your Glass, you can.

  57. Improve your golf game: An app called iCaddy offers GPS, giving distances to the fairway, different points on the green, and other important areas and hazards, as well as managing tee times, and recommending clubs. Golf has always been a sport of innovation, from computer-designed, precise, aerodynamic clubs, and plenty of gadgets for improving your game, but this goes above and beyond.

  58. Tell the time: Glass’s lock screen is a nice looking digital clock. I do hope they offer some custom clockfaces one day.

  59. Make and follow a todo list: This article isn’t about things Google glass can do. It’s about things you can do with Google glass, and several apps offer reminders to help you stay on task in doing whatever you’re doing.

  60. Check facebook: Yes, just as you can check Twitter, G+, and Tumblr, you can check Facebook, and post to it too.

  61. Glass at your next checkup? Augmedix, a Stanford-grad run medical startup, plans to use google glass to help save doctors time, by taking care of paperwork. For example, their first app will record checkups, and transcribe the information to medical records, saving the time needed to write all of this down. I find this a bit concerning, considering the security and accuracy risks, but it is cool nonetheless.

  62. Learn astronomy and identify a star: Identifying a star using some Glass astronomy apps is literally point and shoot. Glass was practically made for amateur astronomers gazing up at the night sky.

  63. Aid the deaf, and mentally disabled: Because of Glass’s useful augmentation, Glass is being used to give hearing to the nearly deaf, and assistance to the mentally handicapped, particularly those with Autism. Here’s one such inspiring project.

  64. Book a cab: Apps like Uber are in the process of developing glass-enabled interfaces for ordering up cars.

  65. Check traffic: Google and an innumerable number of other developers have built, or are building traffic apps to make navigating the roads easier than ever. Google even built it into their nav app, ensuring that you’ll never have to wait in traffic again (ok – maybe sometimes).

  66. Keep track of your runs: Runkeeper, the popular running app, announced that it is in development of a Google Glass app, to be released as soon as it’s finished, meaning you’ll be able to track and manage route, distance, etc right from Glass, hands-free, and without having to glance down at a display.

  67. Watch videos: In addition to playing back your own videos, an app now exists for watching Youtube videos. There’s no telling what other video services will eventually be on glass (netflix on glass anybody?). The screen’s still a bit low-res for videos.

  68. Stay on top of religion, and keep track of prayers: Religion is big, despite how little I focus on my own, so of course, there is at least one religious app helping to keep track of prayer times, and other important daily religious occurances..

  69. Scan 3D objects: Indeed, according to Shapeways, a working 3D scanner has already been made on glass. That means you can scan an object with your Glass camera, and print it out in 3D.

  70. Identify a painting: Soon, apps will exist allowing you to identify a piece of art by taking a picture.

  71. Take a tour: Glass’s Field Trip app serves as a virtual tour guide, showing you around any historic destination, and providing relevant info as you go.

  72. Unlock your car door, and turn on the AC: In addition to #33, another reason to buy a Tesla Model S. You can unlock your door, or turn on the AC or heat with one command to Glass. Glass and the Model S really are well-integrated.

  73. Manage Your Calendar: Keep track of events, etc. Even Microsoft’s smartwatch from a decade ago could do this.

  74. Check sports scores: Soccer fan? You can check scores. Basketball, baseball, golf, tennis, etc. You can check the score of just about any sports event, and without needing to download a single app either.

  75. In the Operating Room: Yes, Google Glass has penetrated the medical field. It turns out that because doctors don’t have to turn their head to look, Google glass is actually fantastic for surgeons, monitoring things like oxygen levels, and pulse while operating. Philips, a healthcare company, is even piloting a program using such apps in the operating room.

  76. Make calls: Yes, you can make phone calls from Glass, provided you have a cell phone connected.

  77. Do a google search:  Wouldn’t that be sad, if you couldn’t do a Google search from Google’s own wearable?

  78. Learn history: Several apps aimed at teaching students and tourists history are either already in beta, or in development. Glass is going to be a self-directed learner’s dream.

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Michael Sitver

Michael Sitver is a technology insider who has been blogging about technology since 2011. Along the way, he's interviewed founders of innovative startups, and executives from fortune 500 companies, and he's tried dozens or hundreds of gadgets. Michael has also contributed to works featured in Newsday, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the associated press. Michael also occasionally consults, and writes for Seeking Alpha and Yahoo News.

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