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Google Glass ditches tether requirement for data sharing

The technology's latest update seems to allow for users of the XE9 companion app to accept an Internet connection, eliminating the need for tethering.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin. James Martin/CNET

Google Glass now makes it a little easier for wearers to transmit data.

Discovered over the weekend by Google Glass user Nick Starr and subsequently confirmed by several test users, the search company's eyeglasses can allow for data sharing without the need for a tethering connection to a smartphone. According to reports, the option was added in the latest update and requires the XE9 companion app to work.

Google Glass required a tethering plan in order for users to transmit data to and from the eyewear. With the update and XE9, however, Starr says that he was able to turn off his tethering and still transmit data.

That Google might have dropped the tethering requirement is important for users. Previously, they needed to pay a fee to some carriers to tether the device with their smartphones and share data. That's no longer required, according to Starr.

However, one commenter on Starr's posting says that while the feature worked for a time, it stopped, requiring that tethering be turned back on.

CNET has contacted Google for comment. We will update this story when we have more information.